Friday, October 31, 2008

A Dose Of Morning News


GONE! Jauquin Hawkins is the first import to be shown the door.

- The New Zealand Breakers overcome a half time deficit at home to defeat the Perth Wildcats, 103-99. recap The game had some controversy. Here is some video footage of how this game ends. Very interesting call in the dying seconds.

- Wednesday night, the Wollongong Hawks ran over the Cairns Taipans 101-93. recap

- Juaquin Hawkins has been released by the Gold Coast Blaze. Another article here.

- Breakers Tony Ronaldson passes Andrew Gaze for most games played. Gaze comments.

- Former players helping out with International success.

- Lindsay Gaze to coach again. This time in China.

- Former NBL player Anthony Stewart is to become a player/coach in Tassie.

- No NBL All-Star game this season.

- Crocs Russell Hinder believes Breakers CJ Bruton is the key.

- 36ers pair of Brett Maher and Paora Winitana will miss clash against the Sydney Spirit.

- Dragons import Tremmell Darden is "under the microscope".

- Kemp to revive the Bullets?

- All your NBA boxscores from yesterday.

- Knicks bench Stephon Marbury and win.

- Greg Oden out injured again. I just heard A Stern Waring's new site just crash.

- To catch up on your daily NBA news, check out The Basketball Jones podcast.

- If you need to know about NBA beards, click here.

Gaze TV - Episode 7

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Best Of All Time - Breakers Shooting?

Phill Jones..Just one of the many shooters on the Breakers roster.

A good solid chunk of media attention in the NBL this season has centered on the discussion of whether or not the Melbourne Tigers will become one of the greatest teams of all time. Well, I’ve got another point for discussion.

I am going to go out on a limb and say that our opponent this week, the New Zealand Breakers, may just have assembled one of the best three point shooting line ups of all time,…and of course this is exciting for me!

Former Crocs assistant coach Andrej Lemanis has been leading the New Zealand Breakers for the last 4 seasons and has put together a team that may arguably be the deadliest group of shooters to ever to make up an NBL roster.

Let’s start with CJ Bruton. Bruton has become the premier point guard in the NBL over the past five years and his reputation for clutch play in the final minutes of a tight game is becoming legendary.

When the game is on the line Lemanis will want the ball in CJ’s hand and would be more than happy to let him take a shot at a game breaking three.

Kirk Penney is absolutely lighting it up right now. Leading the league in scoring with 28ppg, Penney accumulates most of these points from long range. Penney and Bruton make up one of the best backcourts in the NBL. If we are able to keep even one of these guys quiet, it will go a long way toward getting us a win against the Breakers.

But wait,…there’s more!

Oscar Forman isn’t afraid to take a few shots from downtown and has always been known as a good shooter. He has found consistent form recently and is currently making more than 50% of his 3-point shots. In fact, out of the 36 baskets he has made so far this season, 28 of them have been threes.

Still not done yet,…

Phill Jones may be the maddest bomber of them all. This guy can turn the game in a heartbeat and his range begins the minute he enters the building. Jones is also hitting around 50% from three so we need to shut him down the minute he enters the game.

Last but not least I have to mention Tony Ronaldson. Percentages mean nothing when you talk about “The Bear’s” shooting. Ronaldson will make the crucial three when you least expect it. This guy can be ice cold all night then drain the “big one” that lifts his team during the most crucial stages of the game. He is a veteran who has done it time and time again.

When you are talking about a team that shoots like these guys do, there is no point in discussing how you are going to stop them scoring three point baskets. The key word will be contain. The best way to do that will be to minimize their open looks at the basket. If we can get a hand in their face more often than not, it may just turn out to be the difference in the game on Saturday night.


Is New Zealand the greatest shooting team of all time? That is up for debate but if our defense is lackluster we will certainly help them lay claim to that title.


You can read my article every Wednesday in the Townsville Bulletin.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Episode 8 of "The OT" featuring 187

Corey "Homicide" Williams drops by the card table for a chat.

DJ Rod has worked tirelessly through the night to have this episode up and ready. Thanks Rod.

Our guest in the studio this week is Corey "Homicide" Williams. The "50 cent" of New York streetball gives his option on things such as; playing for Coach Goorjian and how he rules the playgrounds of New York City.

Also on the show "The OT" introduces a NBL Player of the Week prize. I'm sure players will be fighting over this award in weeks to come.

Check it out right here, right now.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

News and Fellow Blogger Doings


Big Luke is wishing this was his Player of the Week prize.

News

- Luke Schenscher wins NBL Player of the Week Award. For more on my feelings about this tune into "The OT" later tomorrow when Episode 8 is available.

- Matt McQuade hits us with his early season thoughts.

- Q & A with Dragons Mark Worthington.

- Weekend boxscores for:
Brad Newley
Daniel Kickett
Steve Markovic
Aleks Maric
Wade Helliwell
David Andersen

- Andrew Bogut will play in the Bucks season opener against Chicago tomorrow despite battling an ongoing ankle injury.

- Nathan Jawai will start the season with Toronto on the inactive list.

- "Mike's (Dunlap) a smart guy,'' (George) Karl said. "I don't think he needs a head job." Read the complete article here at the Rocky Mountain News. Some of us may disagree with George Carl, but to find out more on the former Adelaide 36ers head coach Mike Dunlap and his decision not to become the Arizona Wildcats head coach, click here.

- Monta Ellis breaks his silence on that Mo-ped mishap.

What other bloggers are talking about

- The Sport Count previews the Southeast division of the NBA.

- WorldHoopsBlog has 10 top plays from Euroleague.

- Glockers has his NBL team of the week.

- Carolyn and her Cavs have plenty on their plate.

- BestOffGround tackles some recent NBL issues.

- ASternWarning talks about "Boobie" and how he fits.

- AsaSpace thinks Russell Hinder is a champ!

- Cam's Jungle - what else but loads of Wildcats info.

- There is a new kid on the block. Check him out.


Bring Back The Biff

Monday, October 27, 2008

NBL Team of the Week

Wildcat Shaun Redhage makes my All NBL Team of the Week, who else rounds out the team?

Round 6 is locked in the volt and there is a little gap beginning to show between the Top 6 and the rest. There is still plenty of season remaining for the bottom four teams to turn it around but let's look at what individuals are running hot this week.

PG: Corey "Homicide" Williams (Crocs) - Williams averaged 28 points and 7 dimes for the weekend. He was the gamebreaker in the Crocs narrow win over the Spirit, while he was the Crocs best against the Tigers.

We all knew things were going well for Williams this week when he nailed a three pointer against the Spirit. That thing is like Hayley's Comet, only happens every 76 years!

SG: Ebe Ere (Tigers) - When Ere gets to shoot 25 times in a game he will put points on the board. Ere had 32 points to go along with 9 rebounds against the Crocs over the weekend.

Held in check the week before against the Dragons, Ere come out aggressive and seeking his shot in this contest. A step back three late in the fourth by Ere sealed the win for the Tigers.

SF: Shaun Redhage (Wildcats) - Just a usual weekend for the Perth forward. Notching a well rounded game of 25pts/6rebs/4ass saw Redhage and the Wildcats take care of the 36ers.

It seems all those games in succession have played the Wildcats into some good form. They are now riding a three game winning streak.

PF: Dusty Rychart (Hawks) - "The Garbageman" was at his best over the weekend. Averaging 21.5pts and 12 boards, it seems Rychart is right at home at the Gong picking up the rubbish left behind.

Although he is not a gamebreaker you have to reward his consistency. Not many guys can say they averaged a double double over the weekend.

C: Chris Anstey (Tigers) - The king of the "Koala Brothers" (more on this at a later date, but until then ask Damon Lowry what it means) just killed us on the weekend.

His 29pts and 16 rebs were all felt. He is the rudder that controls the Tigers ship and he controlled it the other night.

Not even Luke Schenscher's effort of 33pts and 20rebs can oust Anstey from this week's team.

Anstey's contribution had a massive effect on the end result while Adelaide's version of Bill Walton just simply filled his boxscore.

Honourable Mention

- Luke Schenscher - Had 18pts and 10rebs in the third quarter alone. His team needs a win if he is to crack my roster.

- Julian Khazzouh - His third year is making people quickly forget how bad last year was for him. Another double double weekend for the Spirit centre. 15.5pts/10.5rebs

- Kavossay Franklin - The ultra tough PG from Wollongong has gotten off to a slow start, but it seems the Blaze got his juices flowing. 20.5pts/8ass

- Greg Vanderjagt - The big giraffe could not get a game a the start of the season, now he is taking game winning shots for the Blaze. Averaged 17pts/10rebs over the weekend.

- Matt Burston - Always jogging on the spot is this Dragon centre. He has made a career out of being in the right spot at the right time. Burston relished the extra minutes due to the oft injured Nick Horvath. Burston rewarded Coach Goorjian with 16pts and 16 boards.

Crocs News

Monday Morning News and Scores

Always a long walk to the car when you have returned a loser.

- Sixers import to go?

- Melbourne teams get the win.

- Hawkins sidelined for two months, expect Blaze to have a new import, soon.

- Maher misses game due to calf problem, again.
- Breakers showing they can win on the road.

- Crocs fail to tame Tigers.

Round 6 scores

Crocs 103-101 Spirit
Taipans 101-92 Breakers
Hawks 98-96 Blaze
36ers 93-104 Wildcats
Tigers 110-97 Crocs
Dragons 94-65 Taipans
Blaze 113-116 Breakers
Spirit 99-86 Hawks

Ladder

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Another NBA Fantasy League

Get in on the NBA Pick One Challenge if you dare.

For those of you that missed out on out Yahoo Fantasy NBA comp, there is another available to join. New teammate Anthony Susnjara is all over the NBA Pick One Challenge.

If this sounds like you here are the details to join.

League Name: sus's league
password: irvine

Get in quick as there are only fifty spots.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Episode 7 of "The OT" just released!

To celebrate 250 NBL home games in Townsville, we bring in former Sun's role player and legendary story teller Carl Ward for a chat around the card table.

Click here to hear Episode 7 in its entirety or click on "The OT" logo at the left which will direct you to an RSS feed or the iTunes store.

"Homicide's" Retro Jersey 4 Sale

Here is your chance to be a little like "187". The Crocodiles are having a silent auction for Corey "Homicide" Williams retro jersey that he wore in last Wednesday night's game.




The game celebrated 250 home games for the Suns/Crocs franchise.




You have until November 14 to get in your final bid.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Five Of The Best

It's all about the retro look and Cam Tovey (middle) loved it!

Wednesday night marked an important milestone in club history for the Townsville Crocodiles. It will be the 250th home game beginning with their introduction into the NBL in 1993.

So I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to look back at a little Suns/Crocs history and name my top five players. Since it is my team, I am initiating one rule: a player had to play for the club for more than one season.

Let’s kick the team off with a no brainer, Robert Rose. There was nothing on the basketball court this guy could not do. Whether it was hitting a clutch three to get the team to its only Grand Final appearance in 2001 or putting his hand out to nab that crucial steal late in the game, Rose had the complete game.

He has also been the only league MVP named in the club’s history.

My second member is Pat Reidy, a guy whose stat line would often not accurately reflect his value to a team. My personal experience with this came my first year in Townsville. Our team was hovering around mid-pack until Reidy returned to the lineup, when we promptly peeled of 10 straight wins. I can tell you it was not coincidence.

I have always rated Reidy as one of the best Aussie born players to play in our league and would be surprised if he was not an NBL Hall of Famer in the near future. It was unfortunate that injury cut his career short.

Next I’ll go with Clarence Tyson. Everyone knew Tyson was a rebounding machine night after night, but it was his consistency on offense that caught people by surprise. Despite every scouting report ever written about him stating that ‘to stop him, keep him on his right hand,’ he still found his way to the hoop,…with his left hand.

“The Elevator” and his workman like play was embraced by the Townsville basketball community and it was a shame that injury, again, took it’s toll on this fine player.

Sam MacKinnon was the first truly high profile Australian player to come to Townsville and played a huge part in helping lead the franchise down the playoff trail.

His all-round game was allowed to flourish under Coach Ian Stacker without the pressure of needing to carrying the team. Rose was the on-court leader that MacKinnon was not mature enough to be which worked to his benefit.

Mackinnon has gone on to win championships and has been league MVP so his credentials speak for themselves. He was one of the best to put on a Croc singlet.

Love him or hate him, you had to admit that Derek Rucker was at the very least entertaining when he set foot on the court at “The Furnace”. The Pocket Rocket could rack up points and assists like very few in the league in his time with the Suns.


Although he never did lead the Suns to the playoffs, you have to respect his individual brilliance. I’m sure more than one Suns fan with a good memory can recall at least one game where his talent alone got the Suns a win.

That’s my team for better or worse. I am confident that I will hear a few notes of dissension from loyal basketball followers in Townsville. I would love the opportunity to come back and review my team when 500 rolls around. Here’s hoping the best is still to come for basketball in Townsville.


Other News

- Adelaide great Brett Maher declares it will be his last season.

- Dragons fire up over both Melbourne teams playing on the same night.

- Boti Nagy's weekly look around the league.

- Aussie NBA ballers Andrew Bogut and Nathan Jawai are both in danger of missing the season opener.

- Brad Newley has a slow round 2 game in Greece, but his team gets the "W". Check out his strong round 1 game.

- Daniel Kickert beats David Andersen in Spanish league.

- Wade Helliwell still banging bodies in Italian league.

- Aleks Maric puts in a solid performance.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Thriller on Fox & News

I'm bringing sexy back!

Having been detained to my bed for the last few days due to some flu/virus illness, I felt like I gave my best Monty Burns impersonation tonight, live on FoxSports.

I will never be accused of carrying too much weight but I feel I can hold my own in a pound for pound contest. Tonight was a different story. I made Mr Burns off the TV show, "The Simpsons" look buff and me the physically fragile guy.

It is amazing how lying around for a few days can make you feel so lackluster and weak. Trouble was, I thought I could go out and mix it with the best in a basketball game.

I do not recommend this recipe to anyone trying to look after their body.


I'm glad to report though, our team doctor has me popping so many pills something good has to happen to my body in the upcoming days.

Enough about my health, here are tonight's results and some hoops news.



"The OT" will have a fresh episode later this week.

Results

Townsville 103-101 Sydney recap
Cairns 101-92 (ot) New Zealand recap

News

- Joe Ingles win POW award.

- Tougher 36ers?

- Hawks want to slow the Blaze backcourt.

- Kirk Penney talks all things Breakers.

- Darcy Harding stands tall.

- Shane Heal talks about the NBL schedule in his weekly column.

- Anstey to help out Bendigo.

- Joyce wants first win.

- Latest NBA preseason scores.

- Basketball Babies. Funny but disturbing stuff.
Can never have too much Charles Barkely!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Somebody call a doctor,...

JR's tonsils are On Fire!
Please excuse the temporary break in the action while I rest up for a big one on Fox Sports tomorrow.

I'll be back bigger and better than ever after I sleep it off.




Sunday, October 19, 2008

Bogut's Bucks, NBL Results and News

Will the Bucks make the playoffs? I don't think so.

Yesterday I caught my first bit of NBA preseason action, all thanks to ESPN. It just so happened to be Aussie Andrew Bogut and his Milwaukee Bucks and the Monta Ellis-less Golden State Warriors in Beijing. (Plenty of mopeds to ride in China, Monta!)

Now, I honestly want the Bucks to have a great year because I believe there would be a good spin off for the sport Down Under, via Bogut receiving extra media attention due to the team's success.

After watching the game though I feel that new coach Scott Skiles will be in for a long year.

I feel confident in saying Bogut will average a double double and continue to pass the ball well from the post, while continuing to develop his all round game. The Bucks though have no guy to pick up the slack if Bogut has a quiet night or when he sits with foul trouble.

Dan Gadzuric and Francisco Ellison will provide energy but they certainly do not scare anyone.

I like rookie Joe Alexander but he will take time. His perimeter game has to be honoured and his athleticism and skill should lend to a good low post game over time. With Michael Redd and Richard Jefferson already established players, Alexander will have to learn quickly where his shot will appear, most likely on the offensive glass.

I believe this draft choice will work better than Yi Jianlian. I saw Yi over the offseason and would question whether he has the mental toughness to develop into a reliable NBA player.

Charlie Villanueva can score the ball but is he really a difference maker on this team? I question that but he could be a great pick up for a team that is looking for an offensive spark off the bench. I would try to trade him for a point guard!

Let's move to the perimeter. With the pairing of Redd and Jefferson, the Bucks have two guys that are capable of scoring enough points on any night to win a game but they cannot win enough games on their own to make a run at the playoffs.

Redd has shown that he can score in the league while his team struggles to make the playoffs. It is time for him to show that he can help his team advance to the playoffs, otherwise his legacy will remain as a good scorer on a bad team.

Did he learn anything from his Olympic experience?

Jefferson has been to the NBA Finals with the New Jersey Nets, twice. I'll be interested to see what he brings to the Bucks on a nightly basis. He is best in the open court but unless the Bucks defense improves under Skiles, the Bucks inbound the ball way too much for Jefferson to be at his best.

He has been blessed to be running the lane with Jason Kidd delivery the rock to him over the majority of his career. How will he go with Luke Ridnour, Ramon Sessions and Tyronn Lue diming him up?

Now to the point guard position. You lose Mo Williams and get Ridnour in return. Looking from the outside in, I'm guessing this is not a Scott Skiles' type of guy.

Ridnour can make great decisions in the open court but once in the half court his perimeter shooting really lets him down. Teams (Warriors did) will double team off of him and make his jumper beat them. He may penetrate but unless his floater/teardrop is going on the night, he will be the guy teams make beat them.

Teams will not help off of Redd or Jefferson so Ridnour needs to find a way to finish.

Lue may find some extra minutes as he does a good job of dogging the ball carrier on defense and can knock down the perimeter "J" a little better.

Buck's fans may be able to help me out here. Is Charlie Bell the answer at the point guard position or is he too offensively minded to help here?

I watched this preseason game in hope of seeing something promising from these Bucks, but I just saw more of the same of past years.

Unless Joe Alexander has a ROY type year or Bogut has an All-Star type season, the Bucks will again win around 30 games and miss the playoffs. The Bucks last playoff season was 2005/06.

I really hope I'm way off the mark here as the Bucks having a good year will help the sport of basketball in my native Australia.

NBL Results-Round 5

Perth 89-77 Wollongong recap
New Zealand 120-108 Gold Coast recap
Wollongong 105-95 Adelaide recap
Sydney 101-106 South Dragons recap
Townsville 93-107 Perth recap
South Dragons 108-80 Melbourne recap
Cairns 102-87 Gold Coast recap

Ladder


News from the wires

- Gold Coast still thinking playoffs.

- Brian Goorjian can see a championship.

- Andrej Lemanis is uptight!

- An up close and personal look at the Wildcats.

- Kevin Garnett and Rick Rickett fight.

- Crocs Hammered.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

NBL Results and Other News



MAHERVELLOUS! to be found in good and bad bookstores soon.
NBL Results

- Wollongong Hawks 105 (Franklin 24, Rychart 16, Saville 14) defeated Adelaide 36ers 95 (Tyndale 18, Ballinger 17, Bruce 14) boxscore game recap

- Sydney Spirit 101 (Low 32, Khazzouh 15, Williamson 11) lost to South Dragons 106 (Darden 22, Ingles 17, Horvath 17) boxscore game recap

- Townsville Crocodiles 93 (Ellis 21, Williams 20, Hinder 16) lost to Perth Wildcats 107 (Knight 17, Redhage 15, Loughton 15) boxscore game recap

- Cairns spirit is high.

- "MAHERVELLOUS! The Brett Maher Story" will be available soon (Nov 1). So start saving up your pocket money.

- Anthony Susnjara has signed with the Crocs. (He was in uniform tonight.)

- Melbourne Tigers looked sloppy at practice.

- New Zealand Breakers finally hit the road.

- Less than 1000 turn out to see Brian Goorjian's return to Sydney.

- Opal point guard Kristi Harrower to suit up for hometown Bendigo in WNBL.

- It's always good to know you have friends.

Other News

- Former NBA All-Star Eddie Jones calls it a day (bought out by the Indiana Pacers). Thanks to ASternWarning here is a good look bad at what Eddie achieved.

- WorldHoopsBlog has his usual NBA preseason score updates. Also, no Kobe in Europe until 2016?

- ESPN's NBA Award Watch

- Will Carlos Boozer bolt Utah just like he did in Cleveland? Find out what other players may be dealt sooner rather than later.

- Greek team looking at other NBA players for future.

Hack-A-Shaq with spice this year!


-

Friday, October 17, 2008

Is Tonight The Night & News

I have been sitting at my computer for an hour now and I have started and deleted three different articles after only a few sentences. Anything I had to say either seemed like old news or just plain uninspiring.

So I finally decided to write about the white elephant in the room,…what is going on with my shooting so far this season?

I will do my best to give you my honest assessment.

I believe in my day to day preparation. I believe that there would be very few, if any, other players in Australia that put in the extra time shooting that I do. And I am talking about both during the season and the off-season. I believe that like anything that someone practices over and over and over, shooting for me is like second nature.

No one is on their game 100% of the time, no matter what your job is. Like any other job for any other employee, I will face lean times. The mark of a professional is how they deal with these times and their ability to push through to the other side.

So here is my day:

As per a normal day I head out to our practice facility in the morning for training. After our team session has finished, I do my individual shooting practice. On any given day I will make anywhere from 100 to 250 extra baskets. This is something I have done for the duration of my career.

I do not deviate from my routine because it has served me well for so long and I believe that extra time is going to get the job done. If I start to second guess myself and deviate from the tried and tested, it is easy to become confused on what is working and what is not.

The next question would be how long is it going to take to get my shooting groove back?

If I knew that, I’d be the first to share the information. At this point all I can do is be aggressive without forcing the issue. A little trick that us shooters also use where ever possible is to find ways to manufacture some “gimmie” baskets. Things like easy layups or free throws easy any pressure we put on ourselves and are a great kick toward getting back into a rhythm.

Of course the extended break we have just had over the past few weeks also allows me some solid practice time which can’t hurt either!

The bottom line is that I know the extra hours I put in will eventually pay off. Whether on Friday, I cannot be certain. However I will persist with what has worked for me in the past. JR will get his groove back.


You can find my article in the Townsville Bulletin every Wednesday.

News

- New Zealand Breakers score home win over the still winless Gold Coast Blaze.

boxscore game recap

- Fox Sports coverage begins next week. You will see me live!

- Brian Goorjian fires up again. This time about the draw. And you can boo him if you want.

- South Dragons love Mika Vukona's attitude.

- Around the NBL with Boti Nagy.

- Fox shows no love for the west.

- Chris Anstey trying to spice up local derby.

- Cairns getting ready for the Blaze challenge.

- Lindsay Tait to play game 100.

- Red Dust Role Models

- Rychart cleans up.

Hinder and Homicide

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Episode 6 and News

Episode 6 of "The OT" with JR and DJ Rod is now available, right here.

In this edition we catch up with the soft spoken import for the Sydney Spirit Derrick Low, review and preview of NBL games, join our NBA fantasy league and DJ Rod has a new and easy competition for you to enter.

Please enjoy.

To download the episode all you have to do is click on "The OT" logo on the top left column of my webpage and go from there.

Either subscribe to the RSS feed (where you can listen to all the episodes) or go to iTunes where you can download it onto your favourite MP3 device.

NEWS

- Perth Wildcats have a convincing 89-77 win over the Wollongong Hawks. game recap

- Spirit fire up over Goorjian comments.

- No excuses from the Breakers.

- Cameron Tovey ready to battle ex-teammate.

- How are the crowds going in the North?

- Rosell Ellis is ready to explode.

- Sydney Spirit are spreading the word.

- Goorjian the villain.

- Shane Heals' weekly column. This week he talks about the Boomers job being full-time.

- NBA preseason results.

- This is for NBA fantasy lovers. A preview of the Southwest division courtesy of many bloggers.

- TheSportCount take a look back at the NBA in the mid 90's. Good read boys.


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

NBA Fantasy


Well it is back by popular demand. NBA Fantasy is here, so sign up if you have any game. MY group of punter mates play in Yahoo's league and we do not mind dabbling in a little trash talk.

So if that is you, come on over for a game.

It is easy to join.

League ID#: 16845
password: nba

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Kendall A Cat, Homicide in NY & News

- Luke Kendall has come out of hibernation and has signed with the Perth Wildcats.

- Corey "Homicide" Williams has been named Pro City player of the summer in the USA. Link here, but scroll down the link to find story.

- Perth coach Conner Henry is happy with Kendall signing.

- Cairns Taipan Darnell Mee named Player of the Week.

- I back myself!

- Hawks looking to string a few wins together.

- Brett Maher needs the ball!

- 36ers leave Anstey alone.

- Sixers to tinker with lineup.

- Scott MacGregor to miss game.

- Mark Worthington is injured but should play against the Tigers on Saturday.

- Crocs are ready to rumble after a 13 day layoff. (audio as well)

- Are the Phoenix Suns changing their identity?

- WorldHoopsBlog has a good run down of the latest NBA preseason results.

- Magic and Van Gundy join the ESPN family.

Kendall interview in Perth

Monday, October 13, 2008

Team Of The Week

Spirit's Julian Khazzouh makes JR's All NBL weekly team. His career highlight I believe.

With so many upsets last week, yes upsets because my tips were bad, will there be any surprises in the Team of the Week. When I construct my team, winning and losing does play a part in the end result. Here it is:

PG: Darnell Mee (Cairns) - Sometimes players love to play against other guys and I believe this to be true for Mee. I'm sure Darnell loves to have a big game against CJ Bruton because CJ is considered the best at their position. Darnell showed that he is still in the elite group of point guards. His statline of 26pts, 5 rebs and 7 assists made people forget Martin Cattalini wasn't even at the game.

SG: Rod Grizzard (Melbourne) - I slot Grizzard in here because perimeter players in the NBL can pretty much match up on anyone. Although the Tigers went 1-1 over the weekend he was very consistent. A average of 20pts, 8rebs and 5assists we see Rod get the nod this week.

SF: Glen Saville (Wollongong) - Although Sav went 3-17 from 3 in his 400th game, he stuffed the stat sheet like very few can. 19 points, 14 rebounds, 4 assists and 4 steals is a fair night at the office as the Hawks beat a title favourite in the Perth Wildcats.

PF: Dusty Rychart (Wollongong) - It was tough to leave out Perth's Shaun Redhage here but in the end Rychart's game winning three sealed the deal. Rychart's 18pts and 14rebs (7 offensive) helped the Hawks come from behind and defeat the Wildcats.

C: Julian Khazzouh (Sydney) - A team that goes 2-0 on the weekend needs some representation on this squad. Khazzouh was solid and consistent for the 3-3 Spirit. The third year player averaged 15pts and 11 boards as the Spirit find themselves in the Top 6.

Honourable Mention:

Shaun Redhage: Perth's 1-2 week hurt Redhage's appearance on the team. No doubt his averages of 24pts and 7rebs will find him on the team at some stage.

Ian Crosswhite: The Cairns big man had a career high 21 points to go along with 7rebs and 5 assists.

Rick Rickert: The Minnesota native went for 25pts and 10rebs against the Snakes.

Luke Schenscher: Statistically his best game in the NBL but his 25 and 10 was not enough to get the 36ers past the Tigers.

Chris Anstey: Very unlucky to miss out when you average 20 and 10 but the Tigers lost to the Wildcats.

News:

- If you want some NBA preseason results go here. Phoenix and Denver played a game outside at Indian Wells Tennis Garden.

- Here is a small sample of a Pat Mills article coming in the next Slam Mag.

- Good article about sport survival in New Zealand.

- Looking for a job? I might just have the position for you to apply for in basketball. Click here.

- Who in the NBA 2005 draft year is still looking for a contract extension?

- Warriors Monta Ellis may regret getting on that moped. Suspended for 30 games without pay. Ouch!

Vintage '96 NBL

Early Morning News

Don't forget you can now get "The OT" with JR and DJ Rod via iTunes and RSS feed now!

- The unpredictability of the NBL season continues.

- Hawks Matt Campbell speaks out about the league.

- SLAM online takes a look at the NBL. Yes, this American publication is showing some love to the league Down Under. Part 1 here.

- A nice review of the games from Epoch Times.

- Spirit just looking for respect!

- Gold Coast imports need to improve.

- Sydney Spirit Coach Rob Beveridge is happy with their progress.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

We Are BIGTIME Baby!


Google Analytics

Please excuse me while I 'get my nerd on'. A couple of weeks ago I branched out into the world of Google Analytics.

I know I have lost half of you already but trust me, two weeks ago I was lost too. Let me explain. What this tool allows me to do is see where my traffic is coming from and how much time each person spends reading. If stats are your thing, Analytics is for you.

What I can tell you is the NBL fan is alive and well in the cyber world. The Australian basketball fan using the net gives me plenty of attention. Despite what happened in the off season, Sydney hoop junkies hit me up more than anyone else in Australia.

Although Brisbane has no NBL team, they are still looking for their hoop Jones on Jr, On Fire. A big thanks goes to those in Bris Vegas for keeping the numbers ticking over.

Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth residents have only proven what most Australians already know,...they love their sport. Thanks goes out to you for your support as well.

Let's look at the international landscape. Thanks to Mookie and Paulie Danger I'm making inroads in the US marketplace. They are the second largest audience on a global scale after my home country.

Thanks to my boy Brad Newley, Greece has a strong hit count. Hope his numbers look a little better than his home town 36ers when he hits the court in a couple of weeks.

One place I certainly need to focus on is China. Only six visits from China and I'll say all of them are from my former West Sydney teammate Grant Keys. I will endeavor to attract more attention one way or another from this region, and hope to accomplish this task with significantly more success (and strategy) than the NBL did a few short years ago.

One place I was surprised to see on the map with a visitor from Iceland. Initially I thought it had to be a one off fluke, right? But then I got to thinking,...there has to be at least ONE basketball junkie in Iceland, right? Cheers to you, my friend, and thanks for dropping by.

Joining Iceland in my surprise basket were Romania (10 hits), Cyprus (1), India (2), and Argentina (1) to name just a few. Just goes to show you that you never know who is paying attention.

Now, I am certainly no salesman for Analytics, but my inner nerd has discovered its value (not to mention the fact that it becomes a pretty cool talking point).

So anyway, now that I have said my piece I would like to thank the people who have dropped by this site, especially the diehards that swing by on a regular basis. Using a tool like this gets me more excited about the possibilities for and the future of basketball,...and that is my world.

A Round Of Upsets


Dusty Rychart's last second three allowed Glen Saville to celebrate his 400th in style.

*** breaking news: It seems that the Singapore Slingers "exhibition season" maybe coming to a screeching halt. I'm looking a little further into this info.

I have been told it is looking very shaky for the Slingers to complete the remainder of their scheduled games.

To add some validity to this, Coach Geordie McLeod has left the team.

Round 4 is in the books and will go down as the round of upsets.

It kicked of Wednesday night with the Perth Wildcats getting passed the Melbourne Tigers in Victoria. Upsets continued all the way through to Saturday when the Sydney Spirit defeated the Wildcats at Homebush.
I'm just glad the Crocs had a bye this round.

Here are the boxscores and recaps:

Melbourne Tigers 101-105 Perth Wildcats (recap)

New Zealand Breakers 111-122 Cairns Taipans (recap)

Wollongong Hawks 85-82 Perth Wildcats (recap)

Melbourne Tigers 119-91 Adelaide 36ers (recap)

Sydney Spirit 101-86 Perth Wildcats (recap)


LADDER

I will be back later today with more news and views.

Friday, October 10, 2008

18 Links For You While I Hit The Links Like Tiger

What is Axel Dench doing wearing my jersey? Read below to find out, "what ballers are playing like bloggers."

Good morning all. Today I'm hitting the golf links so I thought I better leave you with 18 links to view.

It's the Crocs corporate golf day and I'm sure that Corey Williams will not be a Tiger woods out there. (I will let you know later how that went.)

Enjoy your 18 and I'll see you (and Cattalini) at the 19th later today.

- New Zealand Breakers could not remain undefeated at home. The Martin Cattalini-less Cairns win this one 122-111. game recap

- Melbourne Tigers have some work to do.

- Glen Saville to play game 400 tonight against the Perth Wildcats.

- Coach of Wollongong mindful of Perth talent.

- Sam MacKinnon believes the "mindset" of the Tigers has to change.

- My boy down in Wollongong stitched me up a ripper. ("Ballers playing like bloggers.") Thanks ASA, but can you send me one of your many pocket protectors so I can join the "Club"?

- BestOffGround takes a look at the upsets so far this round and asks, "Where was Fox?"

- I have recruited a new fan for the Crocs. I just hope "Homicide" can come through for me!

- If you love Shaq, this is a must see video. Thanks Mookie.

- T-Mac drops a line to TheSportCount. Quite funny if you are a NBA fan.

- Andrew Bogut plays his first preseason game, but the Bucks still lose.

- Nathan Jawai still waiting on test results.

- ESPN's John Hollinger's article is a dream read for all fantasy hoops players. He gives his opinion on how players will perform this year. Good luck.

- Bill Simmons takes a look back at Elgin Baylor's days at the Clippers.

- University of Wisconsin's Marcus Landry is a family man as well as a student/athlete.

- Here's a list of college (NCAA) players looking to return from injury.

- Here are a few YouTube videos of the latest happenings in the NBL.

See you at the 19th hole!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Crocs Have Plenty Of Room To Improve

I have gone back to the basics and have been using the "Smart Ball" to find my groove.

Well, so far the Crocs are four games into the season and are off to a flier with a record of 3-1. After a disappointing first up loss to Adelaide, we have strung three solid wins together and the most exciting thing is that there is still plenty of room for improvement.

Kelvin Robertson, now a 200 game veteran, has come out of the blocks strong and has been our most consistent player to date. After being a teammate of Kelvin’s for the past four seasons I can see the difference in his game and most importantly his self confidence. He has always had the tools to be a match winner, as he demonstrated last Saturday night. The difference is now I think he can see it himself.

The reunion of former Sydney Kings Russell Hinder and Cameron Tovey has also been productive for the Crocs thus far.

I think these guys are relishing the freedom Coach Trevor Gleeson allows them and have taken it upon themselves to stamp their impact on the game.

Hinder has built a reputation for his defense, hustle and rebounding but the guy can also knock down the open shot. This was one facet of his game that was grossly underutilized in Sydney.

A big guy like Rusty knocking down the perimeter shot opens up the keyway for Rosell Ellis to work his magic under the basket. The next thing you know, Corey Williams has his pick of driving lanes and anyone who has seen Homocide at work knows that can be dangerous.

Cam Tovey bursting onto the scene with the Crocs has probably left many people scratching their head as to how this guy was without a job until Brad Sheridan went down with a long term injury.

The young Sandgroper adds a new dimension to the team at the defensive end. He has an uncanny ability to find the ball, whether it be on a rebound or steal. At the offensive end his slashing ability has caused our opposition headaches so far this season.

Now the rest of us need to keep up with these guys and start pulling our weight.

Don’t think that I don’t realize that I have been getting around in a coma to date. I’ve been through this before. It comes with the territory when people recognize your game by how you shoot the ball. The best part of going through a shooting ‘slump’ is coming out the other side. I always have confidence that the time I put into my shot will see me through. This is no different.

I think team mate Rosell Ellis will welcome our 13 day break as well. The rugged import has been playing through a leg injury and the break should allow him the necessary time to take care of the injury and will come back playing on two strong legs.

Much like me, I’m sure Brad Williamson and Michael Cedar are wishing more of their perimeter shots would have dropped so far. This is our bread and butter so you can’t help but be disappointed when your strength in your game lets you down.

So as you can see, a 3-1 start to our season is great for a few reasons. We are at the top end of the ladder and have plenty of room for growth as a team, which I think is very exciting.


Hopefully we are able to use this break to shake out any niggling injuries we have and to get in some extra shooting practice so that the Crocs can show what we can do when we are firing on all cylinders.

You can catch my article in the Townsville Bulletin every Wednesday.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Late Night News

36ers fans would like to see Julius Hodge icing in Adelaide, not in Europe where he is with the Nets.

Don't forget you can download Episode 5 of "The OT" with JR and DJ Rod here.

- Perth Wildcats Coach Conner Henry has worked a master stroke. Earlier today in the media the rookie Wildcats coach referred to the champion Melbourne Tigers as a "NBA-like line-up".

When I saw these comments I was wondering what state Henry's mind was in. It is obvious to me know that he new what he was on about. His motivation via media worked a treat for his team.

The Wildcats defeated the Tigers 105-101 tonight in Melbourne. (recap)

I have always liked the passion Henry has displayed on the sidelines and now he has shown that he can play mind games as well.

- "We want to be 5-0 at the end of this home stretch," Breakers Tony Ronaldson said. "I think that any team that is serious about wining the championship will need a five-win home stretch and our job's far from done yet." Courtesy of Sportal.

- Shane Heal's weekly column. He talks about there being no personalities within our league. being promoted. I agree with him as the NBL has no marketing that helps promote players into the national eye.

- Paul Henare will be back for the Breakers and he touches on the how he has been effected by the injury to his young son.

- Larry "The Birdman" Abney is back to his best?

- Gold Coast Blaze youngster Tyson Demos is ready for opportunity.

- The Chinese league (CBA) expands with two new teams but almost double their games played.

- "When I was about 11, I still remember it to this day," Andrew Bogut told JSonline. "I cut myself open on a fence. I've gotten them ever since then. I was playing football outside and bent over to pick up the football, and it was getting dark, and I smacked my head right on it."

Andrew Bogut explains why his migraines happen.

- James Posey and his winning touch can now be found in New Orleans.

- Second year Portland rookie Greg Oden finally hits the court.

- After 22 years Elgin Baylor is no longer with the LA Clippers.

- "When she pulled up to my house and started yelling at me after she fired a fake gun at me, I couldn't help but to start yelling back at her," Luke Walton said. "She was in my driveway. But when we were interacting, I could tell by the stuff she was saying that she's not all there in the head -- which makes me feel bad for her." Article courtesy of the AP.

- Orlando Magic pick up option on J.J. Redick.

- If "The Hoop" is on the money, Lithuanian power club Zalrigis his heading for bankruptcy.