Tag Archives: Gerald Wallace

NBA PLAYOFFS: Till The Last Man Driving

Gerald and I are similar in this way: We’re both small-town kids who learned to live in big cities. I think you learn patience in places where the train passes twice a day. You don’t become a cynic in your teens and you figure out how to watch and learn.

So I wanted to know what Wallace thought about taking on the Magic, and he got just what I was asking. He appreciates that while many in this group have been to the playoffs, they haven’t been there together. And he knows Dwight Howard is a player who should be respected but not feared.

We talked a bunch about Orlando’s 3-point shooters and how to take Howard out of his comfort zone by making him guard screen-and-rolls away from the basket. But then Gerald said something more basic, but no less valid: That for them to have any chance to beat the Magic, they need to challenge Howard, and that means driving at him. Because if you let that guy get in your head so much that you don’t try to get to the rim there’s not much reason to fly the charter down to Orlando.

That’s the uncomplicated savvy you develop in a little town in Alabama. It travels well.

via Inside the NBA: Wallace gets it about Magic.

And so it is that Charlotte will be welcomed to the playoffs against one of the most dominant offensive teams in basketball. We’ll talk a lot in the coming days about the matchups and play and schemes in the next few days, and a LOT about what it means for this franchise, beleaguered, mocked, and degraded by smart writers everywhere, to make the playoffs.

But for right now, put this one in the back of your head. Because even if they can’t do it. Even if Jackson’s tendencies and the poor passing of the bigs and the length of the Magic derail their intentions, the Bobcats get it, just like Bonnell’s headline suggests. They know what it’s going to take. You want to beat the Magic? Are you the most talented team in the league? No? Then you’re going to have to punch them in the mouth. And you’re going to have to do it every quarter for as many games as it goes and pray that a few three pointers rattle out.  The only shot the Bobcats have is to take this out of the spread-it-out, make-it-rain game that Orlando adores and into a painful, brutal grind, something subterranean of the type of game the Celtics aspire to. They need to get so deep beneath the surface into the muck and grime that the sulfer singes their nostrils.

They have 24 fouls to use on Howard between Chandler, Ratliff, Nazr, and Thomas. They need to use every single one of them. And they have to keep going at him. Unrelentingly, and without fear. It’s what Crash was made for. A situation where he has to ignore the physical risks that suggest he should stick to the perimeter, to the edges, and simply go bone-on-bone to the rim and force Howard into uncomfortable places (like the back of a Volvo).

It’s their shot. It may be the only one they get.

Bombs away.

Hit The Breaks, Watch Them Fly Right By

High five. From Compton, California to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to Sante Fe, Argentina to Yaonde, Cameroon to Melbourne, Australia, this starting lineup couldn’t have come from much further apart. And yet, in just their second start as a fivesome ever, Jennings/Salmons/Delfino/Mbah a Moute/Bogut looked like a crew that grew up ballin’ on the same block, late into the night, sky is as dark as the pavement, hoop dimly lit by that light across the street, an hour and a half past when mom said i’s time to get in house.

The Bucks have tried plenty of starting lineups this season, but they needn’t try any more.

via Recap: Bucks 115, Hornets 95 – Brew Hoop.

The Bucks and Bobcats are headed in opposite directions, and the trade deadline has a lot to do with it. It’s  a gamble, every time. We act like just adding pieces or replacing them will automatically improve the team, but you’ve got to look at it from a chemistry standpoint. That’s obvious, right? But it’s not as simple as “this guy’s a complainer” or “this guy’s got an ego.” It’s just about guys clicking. The Bucks? They’re clicking, folks. It’s rare that I’ve seen a traded player fit in so seamlessly on the floor as Salmons.

Most of that is a function of the fact that essentially, Salmons is just sliding into Redd’s spot. Salmons on the court isn’t trying to force himself into a leadership role, he’s just slashing and shooting. And it’s one of those trades where you look at it, and you can’t really believe you didn’t see its impact before.

Bogut is dominant right now. I’m not exaggerating. DOMINANT. There was nothing the Hornets could do last night, and they were bringing Okafor and a double team for large stretches of the game. Bogut’s combination of size, savvy, and touch is just not something teams are able to handle right now. They have a point guard tandem that can score in bursts or manage the game (Ridnour,  who’s also shooting the lights out, even though he’s the Mike Bibby to my J.E. Skeets). They have a defensive stalwart  in Mbah a Moute, and all of a sudden Carlos Delfino matters again. They’re playing smart, and well. For all the crap Scott Skiles has gotten over the years, he has this team playing really well and in line for a playoff push.

The Bobcats, on the other hand, are in trouble. Bonnell points out how essentially the Bobcats pushed past the really useful point of expecting to win and into the dreaded ‘entitlement’ phase. They’ve come to a standstill as long as you lock down on CapJack. Losing Flip Murray was a significant loss for them, one which Larry Brown should have anticipated. Adding Thomas helps you inside, but losing Murray brings that offense back a step when it had just become decent. Thomas scored 20 points last night, and maybe he really is becoming the guy most of us want him to be. But even with the injuries to their frontcourt, the Bobcats have to figure out how to get cohesive in a hurry.

Gerald Wallace Still Wants The Rebounding Title

Gerald Wallace is an All-Star. Crash. An All-Star. Soak it in. And tonight I expect him to demolish the dunk contest. Mostly because he doesn’t really care about it. Which I think at this point is important for the event, to have no-mind.

I asked Wallace whether he still had set winning the rebounding title as a goal. Turns out, Crash hasn’t given up on that dream yet. Wallace was one of the more thoughtful, interesting players I spoke with this weekend.

NBA All-Star Weekend Day 0 And 1 Thoughts

The following are reflections on Thursday and Friday from Dallas, Texas for All-Star Weekend. Let’s go in chronological order, shall we?

  • By some stroke of divine providence, I was able to make it to Dallas. The flight before and after mine was canceled due to the record 24-hour snowfall in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.  Mine was only slightly delayed, and touched down without any problems. I like to think this was my karmic reward for always donating to save homeless pets at PetsMart and the fact that Vince Carter went Nova last week.
  • Having lived in Texas four years, I cannot stress enough how big of a deal this storm was. If a few flakes fall? GRAB ALL THE SUPPLIES YOU CAN AND IMMEDIATELY HEAD TO YOUR BOMB SHELTER! With six inches of snow? Jesus, I’m surprised they didn’t just call off LIFE ITSELF.
  • I know many people’s weekends were ruined by the weather, but I will say this. Landing late lead to this little escapade. After getting my rental car, I had to make it from DFW to downtown Dallas in less than an hour during rush hour, in the worst snow storm in the history of the city. I am stunned, stunned I did not have to get out of the vehicle to beat someone to death with my man-bag. (Yes, I have a man-bag. It is not a purse. I don’t have lip balm in it. I carry that in my pocket. Not really. … Or so you think!)
  • The credentials office closes at 6PM. It is 5:55PM and I am at a complete stop on the highway… 300 feet from my exit. I can see it. I can smell the perfume, printer toner, and wariness towards bloggers I’m so close. I was so frustrated from the drive that I was tempted to just abandon the vehicle at the side of the road and walk it. Good thing I didn’t, since being dead would have greatly impacted my ability to cover this weekend’s events.
  • But I made it. With about four seconds to spare. I was actually technically late, but the good people in NBA PR were still there and kindly provided my credential.
  • Which was important, because I had arranged to stay with a copy editor friend in Fort Worth, instead of my hotel like on Friday and Saturday. Without a credential, I would have nowhere to go in a city I’m not familiar with that was rapidly shutting down due to road conditions. Which would have meant I would have been at a bar for six hours before attempting to drive to Fort Worth. Not ideal. There wasn’t even anyone I could go hang out with, since all the rest of the media was even more delayed than I was. Luckily it all worked out for the best. I still went to the bar.
  • Rookie-Sophomore practice was interesting because of who hung out. Mayo and Morrow got into a HORSE competition during shootaround. Yes, my heart almost exploded at the awesomeness. Morrow was draining left-handed threes. Watching them match one another was pretty nifty. Mayo’s going to end up as one of the truly great shooters of his time, and I say that not just as a Grizzlies fan. His devotion to repetition in form is what makes a great shooter, and he’s got it. Morrow seemed to really take the weekend in stride. That’s the best part about Rooks-Sophs, is they’re all pretty happy to be here.
  • Mayo, Beasley, and Mayo were all hanging out, just chillaxin, which seemed like an odd mix.
  • Beasley ____blocked me on an interview with Mayo. He grabbed a mic, and busted in on my interview to start asking Mayo questions. He asked me “Oh, I’m sorry, am I interrupting?” as if the entire point of this thing wasn’t interviews. But what am I going to say? “Yes, Michael Beasley, you are interrupting. Chill out, he’ll be with you in a minute?” Then he wandered over to interview Craig Sager who was in a purple suit. You know, like you do.
  • Kevin Love predicted a 37 point win for the sophomores. FAIL.
  • The opulence of the event is pretty overwhelming up close. The nicest hotels, draped in expensive signage, crazy posse members, the whole shebang. It is ridiculously over the top, and that’s before we get to the MCs.
  • Media Availability is like some bizarre mixture of cattle feeding time and a circus. I tried really hard to come up with a word other than circus, but there really isn’t one. The cliche is incredibly apt. There’s lots of goofy people with cameras dancing around, and everyone’s gawking at players like they’re freaks. Which, you know, being incredibly tall and long and athletic, they kind of are.
  • Almost got ran over by Dirk walking to his table. That was fun, in a terrifying way.
  • It’s stunning to me that so many people are there to ask questions which are completely and stunningly banal, and they ask them over and over, to only five people. There are seventy people around LeBron, and Gerald Wallace is just hanging out in a corner with five people around him. UNDERSTANDING-QUALITY-STORIES-FAIL.
  • Zach Randolph was confused at why people were talking about this being his “comeback year,” “a rebirth year,” “a rejuvenation year.” He kept responding to questions like “Um, I’ve been doing this the whole time, my numbers are the same, it’s just the situation that’s different.” He also talked about New York clearing space for LeBron, even though when he was there it was still Zeke’s reign and they were trying to win. But he had nothing but positive things to say about Memphis and he firmly believes Marc Gasol is worthy of being an All-Star (truth!).
  • Al Horford is the chillest bro, ever.
  • Carmelo Anthony’s media horde was bigger than Durant’s, which surprised me. Then I had to consider it. Is Kevin Durant a bigger presence in the NBA now than Melo? How much of that has to do with Melo always being great, but never making huge leaps in his game?
  • At the Sprite Slam Dunk Contest (the best moment covered here), James was in attendance. Simmons had written about his ability to take over a room, which I thought was a lot of wank-wank before this weekend. Not. At. All. Every single human being watched everything he did, from playing with his kids to rapping with Drake, there was nothing he did that failed to captivate.
  • I’ll have more D-League stuff later, but I did want to note that this was the best D-League Dream Factory I’ve seen. The energy was higher and better than it’s ever been. Guys were freaking out over each other. The winning dunk was sick, but Alonzo Gee made a good showing as well.
  • And of course, the best part is the hard hitting interviews.

  • Dallas has done a fantastic job of hosting. Promotion is everywhere, local radio is all over it (even though they won’t stop talking about how the NBA will never compare to the NFL -thanks for the breaking news, sports radio), the facilities are clean, well-run, and transportation’s been moderately efficient. Cuban’s done a great job in running this show.

Funny How Not Everyone’s A Jerkface About The All-Star Game

Before I was picked for the slam dunk competition, I told my agent that I wanted to do whatever it took to be a part of this All-Star weekend. I think it is going to be a historical one, being that it’s in Dallas and the expected crowd is supposed to be huge. I wanted to be in it, and I told him that if I couldn’t make the game, then to sign me up for the slam dunk contest. My family and my friends all said, “Don’t you think you’re a little too old for that?” But I just wanted to go out have fun and be a part of it in some way, and now I’m going to.

via Wallace overjoyed to be Bobcats first All-Star « Bobcats Break.

From Crash’s blog on the official ‘Cats blog.

It’s good to see a player who genuinely wanted to make it, to be a part of it, to the degree of being willing to do the dunk contest. That said, not very thrilled about his dunk chances after reading this. Doesn’t sound like he’s preparing too much for it.

Wallace making the All-Star Game is the kind of story the NBA needs to promote. While the absurdity of Iverson continues, Wallace is a player who has taken his game and his team to the next level, and he actually…gasp…cares about it. NBA media needs to realize Crash is a goldmine.

Previously Undiscovered Bobcat All-Star Unearthed

In honor of the Charlotte Bobcats’ first All Star, we are proud to present “SarcophaCrash”; an original shirt design from Bobcats Baseline to celebrate the archaeological discovery of Gerald Wallace.It’s time to show your support for the ruler of the court with some mythical-Pharoah style. This Gerald Wallace t shirt features the unique design in blue on a black, 100% cotton tee. Production starts on these right-away, so get your order in asap!

via BOBCATS BASELINE » New Gerald Wallace Graphic T-Shirt Discovered! // the most obsessed Charlotte Bobcats Blog of all time.

Dope.

Rad.

Boss.

Etc.

*grumble, grumble* Ain’t nobody makin’ no cool David Lee t-shirts…

A No-Win, Yes-Dunk Situation

NEW YORK , Jan 18, 2010 – 2009 Sprite Slam Dunk champion Nate Robinson of the New York Knicks will attempt to become the first three-time winner of the competition when he defends his title on NBA All-Star Saturday Night, Feb. 13, at American Airlines Center (8 p.m. ET on TNT) in Dallas. Robinson will compete against the Charlotte Bobcats’ Gerald Wallace and the Los Angeles Lakers’ Shannon Brown.

via 2010 Sprite Slam Dunk Announced.doc.

Thanks, LeBron. I hate you.

Okay, we’ll go quick-route, then fast-route.

Quickly: Shannon Brown is a movement, who, much like his actual play, will end up disappointing. But hey, at least he wasn’t selected for the “Hold a 20 point lead by playing intelligent defense” contest.

The Dunk-In: What’s the line on DeRozan, you think? (-220)? Sound right? Because there’s no way in Hell Widdle Gordon beats the Northern Auroarer.

Gerald Wallace: Yeah, so, he’s going to murder everyone. This is the “Gerald Wallace is tired of people not knowing who he is” year. Why else would he be in the contest this year? What, he just randomly decided to come out of dunk retirement? No. This is his way of putting his name on the map.

Nate: I hate you, current CBA. Requiring the dunk champ to repeat is a nightmare. No one wants to see him in it. Nate probably doesn’t want to be in it. Certainly we don’t want him in it. “Short guy! Whee!” Honestly, this is a nightmare. We could have had Josh Smith, LeBron James, and we get Nate Robinson? I like Gerald but I’d sub either of those guys for him. Sigh.

But still! There’s some potential here.

The Long And Winding Road: What’s more popular and overblown, the dunk contest or saying the dunk contest sucks?

Is it star power? Because even if it had stars in it, people would compare their dunks to Jordan and Nique. Nothing that can be done will top what already has. Hating on the dunk contest is mad chic. People are passionate about how the Dunk Contest is “over.” Even after Howard’s resurgence, which was way more than the superman dunk (hello, off back-backboard, windmill, wrap-around dunk), there’s a prevailing hipsterness about the whole thing that bugs me. Because they’re all going to watch. It’s exactly like hipsters that show up to a party, put on their own music, then talk about how lame the party is. These people need jello shots.

I recognize the inherent greatness created by a star participating, and recognize how ti can be a defining moment. I desperately wanted LeBron to participate and am a little crushed he didn’t. But all that means is we need to lower our expectations. We need to understand that there may never be a dunk contest as good as VC’s 2000 exhibition, or as prolific as the free throw dunk or as insane as Nique’s work. But that doesn’t mean it’s not a fun contest. We’re not deciding homecourt in the Finals over it. Just watch the guys dunk.

Not all art belongs in a museum.

Confound Logic Through Simplicity

“He’s exactly what we needed,” said Chandler. “Defenses used to not respect us. Coach would tell us to cut and move, but teams weren’t paying attention to us [on the perimeter] because they didn’t think we could beat them.”

Jackson’s presence has relieved the burden on some of the Bobcats’ primary offensive weapons. His playmaking skills 3.7 assists with Charlotte have taken some of the pressure off of Raymond Felton and Jackson’s ability to defend has benefitted Gerald Wallace, who now has someone to share the top defensive assignments with. In Jackson’s second week with the team, Wallace was named the Eastern Conference Player of the Week.

via Stephen Jackson fits in with Bobcats, Larry Brown, more NBA news – Chris Mannix – SI.com.

It should be noted that the Cats have lost 4 of their last 6. It should also be noted that three of those losses came to Boston, San Antonio, and Dallas, and the fourth was a Nets team that was going to beat SOMEBODY.  And their wins were against Philly, who’s mediocre, and Denver, who’s great. So it’s a mixed bag but I have a hard time not thinking this team is playing better. Plus, through the end of the month they play New York twice, Detroit at home, Indiana, Milwaukee, and Toronto, all very winnable games. They have two tough-to-probably-losses games against Utah and OKC, but I could see the Cats getting over .500 for the first time this season by the start of 2010.

Which no one gets. Just like the Boris Diaw trade, everyone was ready to blast the Stephen Jackson acquisition. Another bad move by a bad franchise. And then it started to turn around. In November, they actually had a positive point differential. Maybe it’ll all fall apart, but based on last year, it certainly looks like the Cats are likely to be more complex than a simple write-off does justice, to, doesn’t it? This is with D.J. Augustin going through a slump of unimaginable proportions, little to no contributions from Gerald Henderson, and Brown still trying to figure out how to effectively manage the rotation with Flip Murray.

The Bobcats are not a good team. They’re not. Their roster isn’t super-talented, their bench isn’t deep, their offense is inconsistent, and their cap space is tapped. But this team is still the most underrated squad by most folks with an NBA opinion.

Gerald Wallace Is Trying To “Crash” The All-Sta… I Can’t Do It.

Some of you have approached me lately about whether Charlotte Bobcats forward Gerald Wallace has a shot at being an All-Star. Here’s my thinking:

The five starters for each conference are picked by the fans. The seven reserves are chosen by each conference’s head coaches. I think that works in Wallace’s favor. No way he’d be a starter, and he’s more likely to be appreciated by the coaches than the general public (at least outside Charlotte).

via Inside the NBA: Is Bobcats’ Wallace an All-Star?.

Bonnell lays out the odds for Wallace to get the All-Star spot. Unfortunately, I don’t think there’s any way. Bosh, Garnett, LeBron. Smith will be the first coach’s pick, with Pierce right behind, and I think Iguodala slips in, even though Wallace has been playing incredible ball.

(While you’re at it, take a gander at Pelton examining the impact of Wallace’s teammates on his rebounding numbers. Great stuff.)

There’s just very little chance that Wallace breaks through. Do the coaches in this league respect him enough to insert him over other players?

BlockClocked 12.9.09: A New Kid On The Block

For the introduction to BlockClocked, click here.

BlockClocked tracks which players are getting their stuff sent away, out of here, gotten gone, rejected, denied, and heretofore blocked. We track both total attempts blocked and blocked percentage. All data courtesy of HoopData.com.

TOP TEN PLAYERS IN TOTAL ATTEMPTS BLOCKED, AS OF 12.09.09

Player Times blocked (Total) Games Played Blocked per40 Percentage of all FGA Blocked
Carmelo Anthony 37 22 1.84 7.9
Rodney Stuckey 34 20 1.80 10.2
Gerald Wallace 34 20 1.68 14.2
Chris Bosh 30 23 1.50 7.8
Monta Ellis 30 20 1.49 7.2
Zach Randolph 29 21 1.54 9.1
Chris Douglas-Roberts 28 18 1.69 10.6
Corey Maggette 28 19 2.38 14.0
David Lee 27 22 1.45 9.5
Gilbert Arenas 27 19 1.58 8.0

Corey Maggette loves getting blocked. Loves it. He gets home from a hard day at the office, puts on the Ally McBeal soundtrack, and sinks into a warm tub of BLOCKED. 2.38 per 40 for the veteran, with a 14% mark. If 10% or more of your shots get sent back the other direction? Well, that doesn’t really mean much of anything, but that’s a lot of embarrassment throughout the course of a season. Gerald Wallace is looking to threepeat the crown, and he’s getting the shot opportunities to do it. It’s interesting that his blocked numbers haven’t gone down since he started playing the lights out, but maybe the offensive board-putback attempts have something to do with that.Check out Chris Douglas Roberts, out of nowhere! Hard work for the swingman. At the third highest percentage, he might be making a run at this thing.

TOP TEN PLAYERS IN PERCENT OF ATTEMPTS BLOCKED PER 40 MINUTES, AS OF 12.09.09

Player Percent Blocked
Acie Law 50.0
Shavlik Randolph 28.6
Pops Mensa-Bonsu 27.3
Derrick Brown 21.1
Shaun Livingston 20.0
Nathan Jawai 18.9
Etan Thomas 17.9
Kosta Koufos 17.6
Chuck Hayes 17.1
D.J. Augustin 16.9

Acie Law may really not get an opportunity to lower that percentage. He just needs to take two three pointers in garbage time, but of course, the Bobcats rarely if ever see garbage time. Jawai’s climbing, and Chuck Hayes is kind of an interesting develop, owing mostly to his volume of shots at rim. D.J. Augustin? What is it that people on Twitter say? Oh, yeah. SMH.