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History to be Made in Houston

Credit: Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

For the first time in the history of the National Basketball Association, two Israelis will take the court in a regular-season game. Omri Casspi of the Houston Rockets and Gal Mekel of the Dallas Mavericks face-off on Friday night.

Casspi, 25, made history in 2009, becoming the first Israeli to play in the NBA. He was drafted 23rd overall by the Sacramento Kings before averaging 10.5 points and 4.5 rebounds in his rookie campaign. In June of 2011 he was traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers, but never found his groove like he did in Sacramento. This past offseason, he signed a two-year deal with the Rockets with the hope that a fresh start will translate into more success on the court.

Mekel, also 25, signed with the Mavericks as a free agent this summer. He played two years of basketball at Wichita State before heading back to Israel to play with Maccabi Haifa. The 6′ 3″ guard won his second Israeli League MVP last season, when he averaged 13.3 points and 5.4 assists for his championship team.

The Israeli duo were teammates for a large portion of their basketball careers. They played on the Israeli Under 16, Under 18 and Under 20 squads together as well as combining forces on the Maccabi Tel Aviv junior team.

The highly anticipated matchup has drawn Israeli media to Houston. The game will also broadcast live in Israel, with tip-off at 3:00 a.m.

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Here’s a Cool New NBA Playoff App

NBA fans, with the playoff season just days away, we want to let you know about a cool new app on iTunes that’s been created just in time for the playoffs.

Oh, and one of the co-creators just happens to be Saving the Skyhook’s very own, Dan Jepperson!

Dan and his friend Jason have created the “2011 Playoff Primer” app for those of you out there who want to brush up on your player profiles and learn a little more about a specific team. And even if you’re a hardcore fan, chances are, you’ll find something informative here that you can use against your buddies as well.

Here’s some specific info on the app: Continue Reading

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Season Recap: Why Predictions are Stupid, and Other Stories Part Two

To recap my last recap, I discussed the highs and lows of the Miami Heat season, and why you shouldn’t count your eggs before they hatch, regarding the MVP debate. That leaves me with the Lakers, the Spurs, and the Carmelo Anthony trade saga.

Do you remember your preseason picks? I’m sure plenty of people had the Lakers to, once again, come out of the West with the best record. Most commentators and bloggers had the Lakers to have the top seed in the Western Conference. They were just the safe pick. The Lakers roster arguably got better, with the additions of Matt Barnes, Steve Blake, and Theo Ratliff for extra depth. They didn’t lose any significant pieces, so they were early favorites to do what they have done so many times; win the West. Continue Reading

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Bulls vs Celtics: Playoff Outlook

Image by ARM Climate Research Facility via Flickr

Who's ready for the playoffs? I'm sure most fans are, and if you are like me, then the playoffs couldn't start fast enough. I hate this time of year in the NBA. The last three weeks of the season are always

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Should the Miami Heat be Panicking?

Given that the Heat have now lost four games in a row, and just got swept in their season series with the Bulls, I think it is appropriate to shed some light on the issue. Let me start out by saying that I’m not a Heat fan, but I have watched more Heat games than any other team this year, so I do think I am unbiased in this discussion. There are three things I want to discuss; whether the Heat will succeed in the playoffs, whether crying was warranted after the rough stretch, and whether we are all making too much of this.

So, will the Heat succeed in the playoffs? I’m going to post some numbers and let you decide for yourself. Their average scoring margin is +6.71, which is second in the league. Their offensive rating is 110.5 which is 6th in the NBA. Their defensive rating is 103.2 which is 5th in the NBA. Their field goal percentage is 47.5% while opponents are scoring on 43% shooting. They have LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, three players who were undisputed number one options on their teams last season. Yet, they have struggled against good teams. Does that mean anything? The main problem with the Heat is lack of depth. In the playoffs rotations tighten, which means more minutes for stars. Continue Reading