Sunday, 13 September 2015

Cweb invited to Pelicans training camp

CWeb has cleared the first hurdle!!

After a few days of working out in front of Pelicans coaching staff and along side available players, Corey has impressed enough to get an invite to training camp and be one step closer to his goal of making the big league.

The training camp begins on the 29th of this month so he will be staying there continuing to work with the Pelicans staff and get himself ready. As has been mentioned there is a spot for a player of Corey's skill set on the roster and the fact he has been invited to camp is a pretty clear indication that he has impressed them and they think he might be able to play at the NBA level.

Im not an expert when it comes to NBA contracts (guaranteed vs non guaranteed). From what I can gather the contract is non guaranteed and to earn a spot on the regular season roster he will have to impress even further during training camp and then the pre season which begins not long after training camps finish.

Making the NBA is not easy but Corey has proven himself at the highest international level against some of the best teams and players in the world and the fact he has done enough to earn a camp invite  may be a sign that New Zealand is close to having a fourth player make it to the big league!


Saturday, 5 September 2015

CWeb gets his shot at the NBA

If recent social media posts are to be believed CWeb has just boarded his flight to New Orleans for his shot at the big league.

Its been a pretty amazing run for Corey over the last 18 months! A championship and league MVP award in the 2014 NZ NBL, was the Tall Blacks leading scorer at last years World Cup, he became our go to guy offensively in our fourth championship season and further solidified his position as the Tall Blacks go to guy after his performances during the international season that just passed! As we all know he is already on the NBA radar after his mini camp invite with the Indiana Pacers a few months back but now has a real shot at a training camp invite and roster spot with the Pelicans.

His recent performances in the Oceania series against NBA Champion Patty Mills and Cavaliers cult hero Matthew Dellavedova obviously opened a lot of eyes and proved to everyone that he is more than just a guy who can get buckets in the NZNBL and Aussie NBL but that his scoring ability is world class.

Looking at the current Pelicans roster he isn't going over there just to be training fodder! He has a very real chance of getting a training camp invite and competing for a roster spot! As of right now Eric Gordon and Bryce Dejean-Jones are the only SGs they have, they have several players who are capable of swinging between the SG and SF spots but in terms of natural 2 guards they only have Gordon and Dejean-Jones! With the recent departure of Jimmer Fredette and Eric Gordon having a pretty average history with injuries there is definitely a spot for a player with his skills.

A player I think is a pretty good comparison, in terms of the type of role he would likely have if he was to make it, is Eddie House who was a key bench player for the 2007-08 Boston Celtics championship team (google him). His role was pretty simple, come off the bench and get buckets. They are similar in that they are slightly undersized for SGs (by NBA standards) but just know how to put the ball in the hole.

I think I speak for all basketball fans in New Zealand in wishing him good luck! It will be extremely tough to get an invite to their training camp let alone making the final roster but he has proven he can put the ball in the basket against pretty much anybody and hopefully will do enough to impress the Pelicans coaching staff.


Monday, 31 August 2015

Injury Update

Today was our first day with this seasons entire team being in the same room so thought id update everyone on how things are going.

As has been the case throughout my entire rehab period things are going very well. After we all met each other this morning and all the support staff introduced themselves and explained what they will be doing this season we all went on court for workouts...I finally got to actually run up and down on a basketball court!! That may not seem like a huge deal to most since thats what we do, but when it has been close to six months of stationary bike, rower and stepper (the absolute bane of my existence) it felt great to lace up the boots and jog up and down the floor a little bit, even if only for 10 mins (baby steps).

In the gym I've had full clearance for about 6 weeks and our strength and conditioning coach, Steve Buckley, has been working with me to get my body back up to speed while Mark our team physio sorts the foot out...Its a slow process but thats just the nature of this particular injury! But for the first time in over a year I'm starting to feel like my old self again.

Its hard to say exactly when ill be able to resume full on basketball activity/training but my next visit with the surgeon in a few weeks will be bang on the six month mark and hopefully after that will be able to start some more higher intensity on court training and not long after that hopefully will be able to join the boys on the court...Cant wait!!

Its at that point where its feeling pretty good and it feels like I could push it a little bit but just a little bit more time is required to get it to 100%...I can see the light at the end of the tunnel :)


Friday, 14 August 2015

Oceania series - A few keys to the series

Corey Webster 
I’ve known Corey since I was about 17 and he’s always been a guy that never had trouble putting the ball in the basket. He’s an exceptional one-on-one player but the area that he has really improved in the last couple of years is his ability to score within the flow of an offence rather than being a 1 on 1 guy. 
He has much greater understanding of moving without the ball, using screens and reading defence to get to his spots. All this combined with his improved playmaking and passing ability he is definitely a world class offensive player. 
Over the last couple of years Corey’s confidence has grown and while he perhaps isn’t quite at the level Kirk Penney was at during his prime, he is definitely getting close to it. 
Andrej Lemanis obviously knows his game pretty well from his days with the Breakers and I’m assuming one of Matthew Dellavedova, Adam Gibson or Damien Martin (all excellent defensive players) will be assigned to him at all times. 
Corey’s ability to put up points while under constant defensive pressure while also getting his teammates involved because of the attention he will attract will be key if the Tall Blacks are to walk away with the series win 
Matching up with Andrew Bogut 
Bogut is suiting for the Boomers for the first time in quite a long time and for pretty much the entire team outside of Mika Vukona and maybe Lindsay Tait, it will be the first time they have played an Aussie team with him in it. 
Bogut is multi-faceted on the offensive end, he may not have a huge role within the Golden State Warriors offence in terms of shot attempts and scoring, but he does have a very good back to the basket game and the Tall Blacks being pretty small his size alone will make it difficult.

What sets him apart from a lot of big men though is his excellent passing ability. He will be the biggest guy on court when he is out there and will be able to see over double teams (should the Tall Blacks do that) and hit the open man. 
While he doesn’t look to shoot the outside shot very much, his ability to facilitate and make plays from the high post and in dribble hand off action will also be tough to contend with. 
It’s the defensive end is where he will make the biggest impact! He is one of the best post defenders and rim protectors in the NBA. Rob Loe and Isaac Fotu, who are both playing centre for the Tall Blacks, are both good offensive players but I don’t think Andrej Lemanis will have many concerns with Bogut guarding them in 1 on 1 situations down low. 
However they both shoot the three pretty well and Isaac Fotu in particular has good face up ability off the dribble. Both of them have the ability to drag him out of his comfort zone and open up the floor a little bit. How productive they can be against him will be a big factor in the outcome of the series. 
Patty Mills 
Obviously the circumstances surrounding the late addition of Mills aren’t the greatest. You never want to see players go down with an injury as serious as a torn ACL, especially a 19 year old like Dante Exum. But adding a player of Mills’ ability is obviously going to make the Boomers a lot more dangerous.
He has been their most consistent performer over the last 5-7 years and in fact has been one of the best performers on the international stage across all nations. Mills is a player who commands touches and shots and integrating a player like that so late in the piece won’t be easy. 
The players that were on the team during their recent tour of Europe will have to adjust the roles they have gotten used to without Mills and that isn’t easy to do with so little time. 
Those are just a few of the keys that will have a massive impact on the outcome of the series! New Zealand vs Australia in any sport is always extremely competitive and this will be no different. It should prove to be a very fiery and entertaining series and I can’t wait to see it. 

Thursday, 13 August 2015

Oceania series preview - Feels like 2009

I’ve been keeping an eye on the Tall Blacks throughout their games so far. First up against Great Britain, who are a bit of an unknown to me since I’ve never played against them, they had a close victory in a closed game before a 20 point blowout win in front of a big crowd in London. A great result for such a young team and a pretty good way to start the Paul Henare era. 
They followed that up with two solid performances against Croatia, which ended in a heart breaking last second three to Croatian guard Rok Stipčević, and then Slovenia. The game against Slovenia wasn’t pretty shooting wise but the team would have been disappointed with the result after leading at half and three quarter time. 
While both European powerhouses were missing players, we were as well, so taking them to the last minute of each game was promising with a team that hadn’t spent much time together. Despite not getting the results they all wanted. 
The good form continued in the Stankovic Cup in China, going undefeated against Venezuela, Mexico (who we played twice) and China. Corey Webster continued his great form being the teams’ most consistent scoring threat. But the entire team played solid basketball during the tournament. 
Tom Abercrombie, Isaac Fotu and Reuben Te Rangi all had games where they lead the team offensively or provided a secondary scoring threat for Webster, helping him with the scoring load he has to carry. The team also played well down the stretch of all the games, showing they had learnt a lot after letting the games against Croatia and Slovenia slip through their fingers.

Having Paul Henare around the team has been great. He’s got a nice resume already in his short coaching career, and he is turning into one of those coaches that players really want to play for. I went to the first couple of days of Tall Blacks training camp and it was quite different to how Nenad Vucinic previously ran things. 
Typically the first few days under Nenad would involve a lot of break downs and a lot of running certain actions within a 2-on-2 / 3-on-3  offence, gradually moving into running a complete 5 on 5 set after we worked on the timing and speed of each part of it. Pauli’s style is almost the opposite. He draws a play on the white board and plays live 5-on-5 right away with any adjustments and tweaks needed learnt on the fly. I think the players really enjoyed it. 
Being part of the last team (2009) to win the Oceania Series was special. My favourite memory was of the third quarter in the second game in Wellington. We won the quarter 36-15, hitting 14-of-18 shots. Everybody was making everything! Mika Vukona banked in a three as the shot clock was about to expire, Tom Abercrombie followed up a trademark alley-oop with a very tough fade away jumper at the foul line off a spin move, and to top it off Mike Fitchett hit a three on the three quarter buzzer from about 10 feet behind the arch. We ended up winning the game by 22 points. 
We had to win by eight to qualify (after losing Game 1 in Sydney 84-77) and I’m going to remember that quarter for a long time. It was one of the very few times in my international career, at junior or senior level, where a New Zealand team has blown away an Australian team like that
The Oceania Series is really just one big 80 minute game rather than two separate games and every possession is extremely important. In 2009, Corey Webster hit a deep three with just a few seconds left in the Game 1 loss that at the time didn’t seem like a big deal but ultimately made winning the series in the second game seem far more reachable. 
This year’s team has a lot of similarities to the 2009 squad. The team is pretty young with a few first year players and players that have been in the team for a few years but are just now getting increased responsibility with the unavailability or retirement of players they have played behind in the past.  
Prediction wise, I’m not going to do a Rasheed Wallace and guarantee anything, but I think is this team is definitely capable of pulling off an upset! As usual, they will be underdogs but they will be fearless and if everyone plays their part I think they can definitely do it….A few 36-15 quarters like back in 2009 wouldn’t hurt either. 

Saturday, 8 August 2015

Red nose day - Red beard challenge

Ive been pretty slack with this since I've been getting back into training and preparing for the upcoming Breakers season but its almost Red Nose Day :)

The team has raised over 40K for Cure Kids and is less than 10K away from reaching our goal of 50K!!

There is still plenty of time to donate! Its for an excellent cause and Cure Kids is a fantastic organisation...Every little bit helps!

If you want to donate click here ...Any donation, no matter how big or small, will be greatly appreciated by me, the team and everyone at Cure Kids.


Stankovic Cup

Last night the Tall Blacks won the Stankovic cup for the second time. Beating Mexico in the final 70-66. They went undefeated over the tournament beating Venezuela, Mexico, China and Mexico again in the championship game.

Corey Webster once again led the charge with a game high 30 points after having the night off against China a few nights earlier. Isaac Fotu also continued his stellar form with 16 points and mammoth 18 rebounds playing robin the Webster's batman on the night...Backing up his massive 34 point 8 rebound effort against China. Both Players with named in the all-star 5 for the tournament with Corey being named MVP.

FIBA world rankings aren't always a true indicator of how good a nation is but China (14th) and Mexico (19th) are both ranked higher than the Tall Blacks which is a good sign heading into the Oceania series. 

Instead of looking at each game I thought id share a few positive signs I saw during the Stankovic cup!

- Don't want to sound like captain obvious here but they went undefeated during the tournament after two tough loses in Europe! Winning breeds confidence and they will need plenty of that heading into the matches against Australia.

- Offensively Corey Webster is this teams go to guy and main scoring weapon! But several players showed the ability to lessen his scoring load over the tournament...Thomas Abercrombie, Isaac Fotu and Reuben TeRangi all had games where they either lead the team in scoring or provided a secondary offensive presence to Cweb which will be key when up against the Boomers. Im going to assume Corey will have one of Matthew Dellavedova, Adam Gibson or Damien Martin on him at all times (all excellent defensive players) and having other players take a bit of that scoring pressure off him will help open things up a bit for him.

- From where I sit it seems like the squad is settled, everyone knows what their role is and everybody is playing their part very well. 

As usual the Tall Blacks will go into the series against the Boomers as underdogs but with the form they have showed and improvements they have made over the tour and the confidence they are playing with at the moment they definitely have the ability to pull off an upset. I love playing in the black singlet but have to admit I'm pretty pumped to be heading down to Wellington to watch the second game...Hope to see a few of you there :)


Friday, 31 July 2015

Tall Blacks tour - European leg

After a pretty convincing victory against Great Britain earlier in the campaign the team travelled to Croatia for a match against the hosts and then followed by a bus ride to Slovenia for a match up against them 24 hours later.

Game one against Croatia was a bit of a heart breaker.  Losing 70-68 on the buzzer to a three pointer after a Mika Vukona put back put them up by one point with 10 seconds remaining. The home side were missing several NBA players so weren't a full strength side but they were still a very good team featuring many euroleague level players. A pretty special comeback was on the cards after being down 11 after three quarters and as I mentioned earlier they actually had the lead with 10 seconds left courtesy of Mika's offensive rebound and put back  but wasn't meant to be with Croatia's Rok Stipcevic hitting a three as the final buzzer went off!! Would have been a tough pill to swallow! They shot over 50% for the game and 39% from 3 and the rebounding count was even, but ball security let them down, committing 24 turnovers for the game. Corey Webster backed up his showing against Great Britain with a game high 19 points on 50% shooting and Mika Vukona added a workman like 10 points and 9 rebounds, Rob loe and Isaac Fotu added 9 points each.

Twenty four hours and a long bus trip later they played their second game of the european part of their tour against Slovenia. Unfortunately Slovenia escaped with a narrow 73-68. Leading by 5 at half time and by 3 at 3/4 time the boys will be gutted that a golden opportunity to knock of a euro powerhouse slipped through their fingers. The shooting wasn't quite as accurate as the night before against Croatia, going 35% from the field and 31% from 3, but the turnover count was significantly lower with 11 for the game. For the third game in a row C Web lead the scorers with 19, though not quite as efficient as his previous two outings going 5-18 from the field. Isaac Fotu continued his good form with 13 points and Reuben TeRangi was the third player in double figures with 10, Mika again chipped in with 6 & 8 and Tom Abercrombie helped out with 8 - 5 and a couple of steals.

The results obviously weren't what they were after and moral victories don't count in the win loss column but there were definitely positives to take away from both games and seem to be building nicely towards the Oceania series

The boys now fly off to China for the Stankovic cup...They will play games against China, Mexico and Venezuela. Three more tough tests on foreign soil.


Monday, 27 July 2015

Steven Adams out of Oceania series

After months of waiting on a decision by Steven Adams and OKC on his participation in this years Oceania series, today it has been revealed that unfortunately this year won't be the year we see him pull on the black singlet for the first time.

One can only speculate as to why he won't be participating after feedback a few months ago seemed quite positive...A big factor is probably the well documented coaching change, with Scott Brooks being relieved of his coaching duties and former University of Florida head coach Billy Donovan coming in. As well as the recent re-signing of Turkish big man Enes Kanter, a restricted free agent, Kanter was offered a 4 year $70 million offer sheet by the Portland Trail Blazers and the Thunder opted to match the offer to retain his services! So the training camp and pre season battle for the starting spot will be a very competitive one and Steve (and his management) might not want to risk slipping down the pecking order...Which sucks for Tall Blacks fans, but is completely understandable.

As we all know by now Australia have assembled one of the stronger Boomer squads in recent memory and Steve's presence obviously would have been huge, especially matching up with Andrew Bogut! Unfortunately it was not meant to be this year, but no doubt conversations will continue between him and basketball New Zealand and hopefully he will make his international debut in the near future!

Speaking of the Tall Blacks, the boys had a very convincing 84-63 win over Great Britain yesterday in their first official game of their build up for the Oceania series! Corey Webster was the stand out scoring what I believe is the most points he has scored in a Tall Blacks game with 32 on 10-15 shooting! Isaac Fotu didn't have the best shooting night of his life but had a pretty useful overall stat line of 10-16 (game high) and 6 assists, Mika Vukona joined also got into double figure rebounds with 11 and Everard Bartlett chipped in with 15 points in 14 minutes off the bench! But everybody made valuable contributions...Also quick shout out to Dion Prewster and Duane Bailey on making their "official" debuts after the closed game a few days earlier! They are now in Croatia to play a few games against, well Croatia (Duh!!!) and Slovenia.  Full stats from the Great Britain game can be found here 


Friday, 24 July 2015

Injury update and Tall Blacks first hit out

Four months down and a few more to go. I saw the surgeon the other day and once again he was extremely pleased with its progress.

Strength wise it is doing very well, range of motion is the biggest obstacle (it was always going to be) but it is improving by the day and starting to feel more and more normal, opposed to feeling like a ridiculously tight rubber band under my foot like it did a few months ago.

I can finally do pretty much everything in the gym that isn't explosive, because we all know thats a huge part of my game haha, but I did my first lot of deadlifts for a few months yesterday! Definitely a few muscles that haven't done a whole lot over the past few months have come roaring back to life today!!

I can almost run (if thats a thing lol) ...Starting off slow by running in a swimming pool just to get used to doing it again and then move up to a jog on the treadmill and move on to the court from there...Its not a super quick progression but I'm at that stage where its feeling pretty good and improving daily but its still a bit delicate and it would obviously be pretty heart breaking if something went wrong after all this time because I got a little ahead of myself...Slow and steady wins the race.

Im almost there! A few more barriers to get over then ill be good to go :)


Also the Tall Blacks has their first hit out of their campaign last night against Great Britain...Will no doubt be a nice confidence booster for the boys, especially considering they did it without Leon Henry and Shea Ili who will be going the team on their next leg in Croatia plus Lindsay Tait was out due to illness and Rob Loe sat this one out also with a knee problem.

The score was 77-72. Thats about all I can give at the moment! It was a closed match but by the sound of it there was a stats crew at the game so theres a stat sheet out there somewhere! Ill hunt around the inter webs and see if I can find it!

Despite the lack of info about the game it will no doubt be great for confidence and will give them a little extra boost heading into sunday's match in front of what will probably be a sell out crowd at the Copperbox, where the basketball was played at the London olympics a few years back.


Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Breakers pre-season

Today it was announced that just like last season we will be facing off against the Sydney Kings for 3 pre-season games in various locations around New Zealand!

The Kings roster isn't quite complete but with the return of centre Julian Khazzouh and former NBA player Josh Childress coming back for a second season in the NBL they will be very formidable not just during the pre-season but during the regular season as well.

Game one takes place on September 9th in my home town of Hamilton, a city that gets an unnecessarily high amount of hate (ill vent about that another day haha) at Claudelands arena...We have had a few games at Claudelands over the years against the Wollongong Hawks and the Dongguan Leopards. Game two is a few days later on September 11th at ILT Stadium in Invercargill, the first time the Breakers have ever been to Invercargill...There will also be a third game up in Auckland but the venue and date are yet to be confirmed!

We love doing these little tours around the country during the pre-season, we may be based in Auckland but we represent all of New Zealand. We don't get many opportunities to play outside of Auckland but we love being able to play a few games in other cities during the pre-season

Tickets go on sale on July 23rd (Hamilton) July 27th (Invercargill) and can be purchased at

Game one - September 9th, Claudelands Arena, Hamilton
Game two - September 11th, ILT Stadium, Invercargill
Game three - date and time TBC, Auckland

Hope to see you there :)


Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Boomers name Oceania squad

Today the Australian Boomers head coach Andrej Lemanis announced 12 players who will contest the 2015 Oceania olympic qualifying series! The Aussies currently have 7 players who ply their trade in the NBA and four of those players have made themselves available for the series, including recent crowned NBA champion Andrew Bogut and Cleveland cult hero Matthew Dellavedova, rounded off with Dante Exum of the Utah Jazz and Cameron Bairstow, probably not a well known name for kiwi basketball fans but played his rookie season for the Bulls last year.

The three NBA players missing are Aron Baynes, who has recently inked a pretty handy 3 year deal with the Pistons, who from what I can gather has recently had ankle surgery. Utah Jazz swingman Joe Ingles is taking a little time off. Finally Patty Mills of the Spurs has recently been ruled out of the European part of the Boomers build up, possibly because of problems with his recently operated on shoulder. Because of his inability to participate in the whole campaign Andrej Lemanis didn't name him in the 12.

Thats obviously three pretty big losses! Players who have been part of the Boomers for years, but the squad still has a lot of fire power including European based and former NBA players Nathan Jawai and David Anderson, European based guards/swingmen Brad Newley and Ryan Broekhoff and last but not least some names Breakers fans will be quite familiar with, Adam Gibson, Damian Martin, Brook Motum and Chris Goulding.

Its not quite a full strength squad but will still be tough! Im never going to bet against the Tall Blacks though...As usual, they will go into the series as under dogs, but the TBs have a habit of punching above their weight and it should prove to be a very competitive and entertaining series, especially if our own NBA player Steven Adams gets the all clear to play...CC Billy Donovan 

Tall Blacks - Tom Abercrombie, Duane Bailey, Everard Bartlett, Isaac Fotu, Leon Henry, Shea Ili, Jarrod Kenny, Rob Loe, Dion Prewster, Lindsay Tait, Reuben Te Rangi, Mika Vukona, Corey Webster, Tai Wynyard (subject to change depending on Adams availability)

Boomers - David Anderson, Cameron Bairstow, Andrew Bogut, Ryan Broekhoff, Matthew Dellavedova, Dante Exum, Adam Gibson, Chris Goulding, Nathan Jawai, Damian Martin, Brock Motum, Brad Newley.


Saturday, 11 July 2015

Tall Blacks named

The Paul Henare era officially got under way a few days ago with an extended squad of players invited to try out for this years tour of Europe and China and today he named his first 14 man squad to head away for those games against Great Britain, Croatia, Slovenia, China, Venezuela and Mexico.

The fourteen players selected are:
Tom Abercrombie
Duane Bailey
Everard Bartlett
Isaac Fotu
Leon Henry
Shea Ili
Jarrod Kenny
Rob Loe
Dion Prewster
Lindsay Tait
Reuben Te Rangi
Mika Vukona
Corey Webster
Tai Wynyard

Duane Bailey, Shea Ili and Dion Prewster all make their national team debuts after impressive NBL seasons for their respective teams! With Casey Frank and Kirk Penney not being available (or retired, not sure) it is definitely a young squad and players like Tom Abercrombie, Corey Webster, Jarrod Kenny and even Rob Loe (despite only being 23) have definitely entered 'veteran' status alongside Mika Vukona and Lindsay Tait.

After the tour around China and Europe the squad will be reduced to 12 for the two games against the Boomers in August! The big question is obviously whether or not Steven Adams will be given the all clear by the Oklahoma City Thunder to play in the series...Its kind of hard to know at this point but hopefully Billy Donovan will think playing against an Aussie team that will have plenty of NBA talent will be good for him! 

Big congrats to the 14 who got selected! Its a great feeling hearing your name get called after a tough trial and knowing you get to put on the Black singlet! 


Thursday, 9 July 2015

DeAndre Jordan saga

Well today was entertaining wasn't it...that is if your an NBA fan and avid twitter user (like me)

After verbally agreeing to join the Mavs for four years just a few days ago Jordan apparently had second thoughts about leaving LA...From what I can gather those 'second thoughts' have become reality and is set to sign (if he hasn't already) a five year max deal worth somewhere in the neighbourhood of $110 million!!

There are some people who think he should not have gone against his word (Mavs fans) and then there are others who say that he didn't put his signature on anything so he can do what he wants (Clippers fans) ...Ill let you decide what you think is right and what isn't.

But then a rather entertaining 'emoji' twitter battle involving Chandler Parsons, JJ Redick, Blake Griffon begun then Marreese Speights, Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan (well the Jordan brand twitter account) Paul Pierce, Rudy Gobert and Andrew Bogut got in on it as well. Click here to see it all unfold, it is pretty damn funny, especially the Paul Pierce/Rudy Gobert part haha

Amongst all this twitter action Doc Rivers, Steve Ballmer, Chris Paul and Blake Griffin all showed up to Jordan's home in Houston and "locked" him in his own house and held him "hostage" basically to keep the Mavs away...Blake Griffin even posted this picture playfully indicating they had locked Jordan inside his house with the caption "Don't agree with the furniture layout but I'm not an interior designer" I had a good laugh

Amongst all that Chris Broussard said that Mavs owner Mark Cuban was flipping his lid driving around Houston doing anything possible to find out Jordan's Houston address to try and have his own meeting with him...To which Cuban's brother had a go at Broussard on twitter, not the first guy to do that!! Now all we need to complete this is for Stephen A Smith and Skip Bayless to give us their two cents haha.

I feel kind of like the E! Channel posting something like this haha, but I found it pretty entertaining.


Tuesday, 7 July 2015

NBA Free agency!!

Free agency has been a bit of a frenzy over the last few days! Some players resigned, some high profile players have moved and over two billion dollars, billion with a B, worth of deals have been negotiated since free agency started! Some crazy money has been thrown around...Below are a few of my thoughts about some of the signings and other player movement, trades be here all day if I went over all of them haha

The Spurs have won free agency

What an off season the Spurs have had so far! Firstly they resigned Kawhi Leonard for 5 years! Leonard has become one of the best two players in the NBA over the past few years and this deal shows they see him being a franchise type player when the big three hang them up! They also won the LeMarcus Aldridge sweepstakes, several teams were after his services but the Spurs got him and locked him in for four years! David West also opted out of his last year in Indiana that would have paid him 12 million and signed with the Spurs for the veterans minimum, giving up over 10 million in hopes of getting a championship. Combine that with the big three returning for another go 'round and Pop at the helm, he might just get it.

DeAndre Jordan to Mavs

DeAndre Jordan to decided to move on from the team that drafted him and signed with the Mavericks for four years. He was looking for a larger offensive role and with Chris Paul and Blake Griffon he was at best going to be the third guy. Dallas still have a few more spots to fill but but Dirk Slowing down a bit there we be increased responsibility at the offensive end for Jordan...Even if his offensive game remains almost exclusively alley ops and put backs he will still be worth what they are paying him (80 mill), he is still the best rebounder in the league and arguably the best interior defender/rim protector and when you're the best at something you're going to get paid. Excellent pick up by the Mavs. The Mavs also picked up Wesley Matthews and signed him to a four year deal that will pay him 57 million! Maybe a bit of an overpay for someone coming off an achilles rupture but when healthy he is one of the best 3 point shooters in the game as well as being a good wing defender.

Rajon Rondo

Rondo signed a one year deal with Sacramento a few days ago and not really sure what to think! His troubles in Dallas last season in the playoffs have been well documented and has developed a bit of a reputation as a problem child. It will be interesting to see how it all works out with him, George Karl and DeMarcus Cousins...Personalities galore!! He hurt his stock a lot in Dallas last year! But at 29 he has a lot of good years left in him so if he can keep it together this season and get himself back into that upper echelon like he was in the Boston days he could be in for a handy pay day next off season...Not like the 10 mill he will get this season is bad though lol

Hibbert to the Lakers

This wasn't a free agent signing but is still a nice pick up for the Lakers! Hibbert had a $15 million player option with Indiana and there was no way he wasn't going to exercise that! He didn't play bad for Indiana this past season but his production didn't exactly scream '15 million' at you! After missing out on LeMarcus Aldridge, DeAndre Jordan, Robin Lopez and Greg Munroe they could do worse than Hibbert! His stock took a major hit after a shocking post season the season before last where he had multiple scoreless and rebound-less games. Not sure what happened but behind closed doors something definitely went down (insert Space Jam Monstars joke here)...He is still on of the best rim protectors in the league and hopefully a new environment will help him play the way he did when he made those 2 all star games. Hopefully Kobe won't destroy his soul haha.

Those were just a few of the more notable deals that have happened so far...Some others that have moved in to other teams include Greg Monroe to Milwaukee for 5 years, Monta Ellis to Indiana for 4 years, DeMarre Carroll to Toronto for 4 years, Tyson Chandler to Phoenix for 4 years and Robin Lopez to the Knicks for 4 years.

There are some good players still available and would help a lot teams...Josh Smith is probably the best of those who are unrestricted. Tristan Thompson and Enis Kanter are probably the best who are restricted ...LeBron James is an unrestricted free after opting out of his second year with Cleveland but from what I have heard and read it is almost a certainty he will re-sign with the Cavs. Though this could potentially throw a spanner in the works.

Its been an exciting free agency period so far and though most of the 'big' names have been locked up! There are still some excellent players to keep an eye on.

*shameless plug* as I mentioned the other day I'm participating in the "red beard" challenge to raise money for Cure Kids! If you are interested in donating click here ..any donation, no matter how big or small, would be greatly appreciated! Its for a great cause :)


Friday, 3 July 2015

'Red Beard' challenge for Cure Kids

Hi everybody

This year as part of a fundraiser I have joined a team to help raise money for Cure Kids! The beard seems to be my trademark these days so now I have a good reason to grow it out, instead of just doing it to annoy my girlfriend haha

The "Red Beard" challenge ends on Red Nose day (August 21st) and on that day we will all dye our beards red and then shave them off...The team has already raised $15,000 of our $50,000 goal! I have recently joined the team so have a little bit of catching up to do!

Cure Kids is a fantastic organisation that dedicates itself to finding cures to life threatening illnesses that affect many of New Zealand's children. Click here to find out more about Cure Kids and the work they do.

As you can imagine fundraising and donations is what keeps an organisation like this alive! If you are interested in donating please click on one of the links below. The first one is to our teams page and the second one is to my individual page (the one where you get your wallet out haha)

This is a for a fantastic cause! Any donation, no matter how big or small, will help Cure Kids continue their research and find cures for these life threatening illnesses!

So please retweet/share/like/whatever other type of social media-ing there is to help spread the word! Every little bit helps :)


Thursday, 2 July 2015

Final four game two - Giants v Saints

Game two of the final four features playoff regulars the Nelson Giants and Wellington Saints. The Giants finished second on the ladder with a 13-5 record and the Saints finished third with a 12-6 is a closer look at each team


The Giants weren't a team that was being talked about a lot during the preseason! Most of the talk was centred around the other three teams who have made the playoffs, but the Giants put together a highly impressive campaign. There was good reason for the lack of pre season noise! Two imports who had never played in the league (though they struck gold there), a rookie head coach, Phill Jones was pulled out of retirement and Mika Vukona wasn't available at the start, outside of a few early games, because of a break after the Breakers championship season and a short term deal in Italy...But they proved all the doubters wrong! They came out of the blocks hot with a 6-0 start to the season, there were a few hiccups in the middle stages but finished strong winning 6 of there last 8 games. They bought in two quality imports, but they really hit the jackpot with McKenzie Moore! A true stat stuffer, he put up 22,6,4 plus 2 blocks (ok 1.8) and 2 steals a game, great production at both ends. He is a little spotty from behind the arc but he relentlessly attacks the basket and attempted 149 free throws during the regular season (8.2 per game) he's a top candidate for league MVP and a surefire all star 5 selection. They have very good inside outside balance with Deronn Scott, Phill Jones out on the perimeter and Josh Duinker and Mika Vukona inside, utility man Sam Dempster filling in wherever his team needs him and Finn Delany and Bronson Beri giving solid minutes off the bench! Plus with Mika recently announcing his retirement from the (nz) NBL he will want to go out with a bang and a determined Mika is a lot more fun to play alongside than to play against!


Some major changes happened this season in the capital after winning it all last year! They bought back two time championship winning coach Pero Cameron from the tron, no reigning league MVP Corey Webster! But despite those changes, the results were what most expect from a Saints team! Another playoff appearance. However with the playing status of league MVP candidate Torrey Craig up in the air I'm not sure what to think, they definitely have the depth to cover him but its very difficult to cover the loss of a teams leading scorer and rebounder as evidenced by their 1-2 record in the games he didn't play, with the one win being against winless Taranaki...But if playing in and watching the NBL over the years has taught me anything its that if Lindsay Tait is on your team you are gonna be in with a shot and he has young gun Izayah Le'Afa backing him up. They have two of the best marksmen in the league on the wings with Dion Prewster and Leon Henry (mask and all), the ever reliable Brendan Polyblank, ANBL star Daniel Johnson, rebounding machine Nick Horvath and throw the guy everyone hates playing against, Damien Ekenasio, in there as well you definitely have a very good squad! 


This is a tough one to call, Craig is a huge loss if he is unable to play but I still think they have the talent to win this one without him! A lot will depend on how well the Giants defend Lindsay Tait...If the Giants allow the game to be played at a hectic pace and give Lindsay freedom in the open court and he has one of those games where he gets 12-15 assists it may be a tough night for the Giants. But if they can slow the ball down, get it out of his hands and make the guys who are normally on the receiving end of his dimes try and create for themselves they will be in a good position! But for the Giants, Moore will be tough going to the basket, Mika and Sam Dempster will be everywhere, Duinker will do his thing inside and Jones will bomb away from deep...Without Craig this one is pretty much 50-50 to me but with home court advantage, id give a slight edge to the Saints. 

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

NBL final four - Semi final 1 - Sharks v Rangers

To open up the final four in Wellington we have the Southland Sharks facing off against the Super City Rangers. As I've mentioned quite a bit during the season I havent seen many games in person since they are not shown on TV nor are they live streamed like last season! But I'm pretty famaiar with the league and most of the players in it so I think what you read below is pretty accurate despite not having stats to back everything up. Here is a look at the two teams.


After a controversial season last year in the deep south the Sharks have bounced back in a big way this season. Recruiting NBL most improved player Todd Blanchfield, last seasons outstanding NZ forward Duane Bailey and Adrian Majstrovich, a former NBL MVP. As well as retaining club legend Kevin Braswell, Shea Ili and find of the century big man Tai Wesley...After a disappointing 1-3 start the Sharks havent lost a game since, going on a massive 14 game winning streak!! Winning 14 in a row is impressive no matter how long the season but with the NBL being just 18 games long, its a pretty remarkable streak! Kiwis know what to expect from players like Kevin Braswell, Duane Bailey and Adrian Majstrovich and they all produced at a high level, new recruit Todd Blanchfield, fresh of his breakout season with the Townsville Crocs, provided a consistent scoring threat finishing 5th in the league at 22ppg. Tai Wesley has been phenomenal and is a top candidate for league MVP! Averaging 18 and 9.5 he has been a model of consistency and efficiency, shooting a ridiculous 66% from the field for the season...on top of that he is the anchor of the leagues best defence and despite not being an amazing athlete (Sorry Tai lol) he blocks 2 shots a game and uses veteran savvy and smarts to make up for the few inches he gives up to most of the players he matches up against. If there is one thing against this team depth might be it, all 5 starters average over 30 mins and Shea Ili is the only player who consistently gets extended playing time off the bench...But that obviously didn't cause to many issues over the course of the season and probably won't be over the final four.


A team many thought would be a definite championship contender at the start of the season, they perhaps weren't quite as dominant as some might have thought and struggled for consistency, but they did enough to make the final 4. The Rangers like to run and gun and put a lot of points on the board. They have three guys who average over 20 a game. Jason Cadee has continued his form from last season and is the leagues second leading scorer, Tom Garlepp and Rueben TeRangi average 20.7 and 20.5 respectively. Casey Frank provided great all around play with 10,8 and 3 assists a game, his 3 point %age was down compared to previous years but outside of that had a pretty tidy season. Plus Hayden Allen also had a pretty useful season after coming out of retirement. When I heard that Jeff Green was going to be coaching I wondered if they would press full court and try to create havoc defensively the way his teams did back in the day and that they did (based off the one game I saw in person). The Rangers may not have been quite as dominant as a lot had anticipated before the season started but they are a very good team and if they catch fire from deep (they shoot quite a few of them) they can be a handful for any team.


The Rangers are a talented team, but I think the Sharks will be too good! The Rangers have a lot of championship winning experience with Dillion Boucher, Casey Frank and Hayden Allen who between them probably have about 15 championships...But with Kevin Braswell retiring after this season and coach Paul Henare moving on after this year they will definitely want to send them out the right way and will use that as a little extra motivation... The Sharks won both games against the Rangers this season and I think the Sharks will get up for this one as well.

Tuesday, 30 June 2015

NBL Final Four

The 2015 NBL season is coming to a close and the championship will be decided this weekend in Wellington. The match ups have been determined and will no doubt be an exciting weekend of basketball in the capital, with some rugby game mixed in between haha.

The first semi final will be contested between the top seeded Southland Sharks vs the fourth seed Super City Rangers...Game two will feature the second seed Nelson Giants vs the third seeded Saints.

Over the next few days will have a more in depth look at the two match ups and make a few predictions of both semi finals and who I think will ultimately win it all. There are a lot of little story lines to keep a close eye on leading into the weekend. Some of those include the Sharks 14 game winning streak and incredible form heading into the weekend...The retirement of honorary Kiwi Kevin Braswell...Paul Henare's final weekend coaching the Sharks and the uncertainty surrounding MVP candidate Torrey Craig.

Its sure to be a great display of basketball with four talented rosters and coaches...The games have been moved to an earlier time so it doesn't clash with the rugby. Will be a great sporting weekend in the capital.

Stay tuned over the next few days for closer looks at the two match ups and a few predictions.


Saturday, 27 June 2015

2015 NBA Draft

Another NBA draft has passed so it time to share a few thoughts. Outside of a few players that slipped a couple of spots and perhaps one or two taken a little early it was a relatively quiet draft...No league altering trades, no completely out of the blue selections! A lot can happen during free agency but the actual draft day was relatively uneventful.

Below are a few of my thoughts of teams I think did well and a few I'm not quite sure about just yet...Since none of these guys have played a second in the NBA yet I don't think its fair to say who the 'winners' and 'losers' were! But just a few of the thoughts I had while watching.

Teams who did well

The top 3

The T-wolves got their man with Karl Anthony Towns! A versatile, skilled and athletic big man! Will fit in well with up tempo players like Andrew Wiggins, Zack LeVine and Ricky Rubio! He isn't Anthony Davis obviously but like Davis he has good offensive skills, has good mobility, can play defence and protect the rim! I think its a fair to say he could become a poor mans Anthony Davis type of player. The Wolves also got Tyus Jones via trade with Cleveland. He is a little undersized but has great passing ability, leadership skills and will be a great back up to Rubio.

The first surprise of the night was the Lakers selecting D'Angelo Russell over Jahlil Okafor...But you can't blame them for selecting a possible all-star guard with Kobe's imminent retirement. Having a good PG is pretty crucial to success in the NBA, especially in the West. The Lakers are looking to make some noise in free agency with Kevin Love, LeMarcus Aldridge being two of their main targets along with trade rumours surrounding DeMarcus Cousins. Most people were expecting Okafor but this is a great pick.

Lastly the 76ers. Though they have drafted Nerlens Noel and Joel Embiid over the last few year they had to pick Okafor, when you have the third pick and a player with no1 pick talent is on the board you can't pass him up! Sometimes you have to take the best available player rather than selecting based off of team needs...What does this mean for the future of Noel and/or Embiid in Philly? Only time will tell, but getting a player who has been in number one pick discussions since high school third overall is obviously a great pick up.

Miami Heat

Getting Justise Winslow out of national championship winning Duke is a steal at no10 for the Miami Heat! Expected to be taken around the 5-6th pick he fell right into Pat Riley's arms. Though spending just one season at Duke he is incredibly strong and tough and is ready to play in the NBA! One of my favourite draft websites compares him to James Harden! He probably won't be that lethal offensively, his offensive game combined with good defensive ability and his size reminds me of Jimmy Butler of the Bulls...Excellent value at 10 if he can get to Butler's level.

Kentucky Wildcats

The aren't in the NBA obviously but having six players drafted, four in the lottery, is a pretty solid effort! Hopefully in the next few years our own Tai Wynyard will be amongst the list of Kentucky players who make it to the big time.


Sacramento Kings

I like Willie Caulie-Stiens game but can't help but think the Kings reached just a little bit here for a defensive specialist sixth overall. He has remarkable athleticism and mobility for a seven footer and has the ability to guard pretty much anyone but I think there were a few better options on the board! Jay Bilas said during the draft that to justify being picked this high he would have to be a multiple time all-defensive player and DPOY candidate and I agree with him there! If he becomes a Tyson Chandler type of player he would be worth the pick but if he doesn't and makes a career off of being an energy guy sixth overall might have been a bit of a reach by the Kings.

New York Knicks

Knicks fans the world over were praying Jahlil Okafor would slip just one more, but it wasn't meant to be. Kristaps Porzingis is probably the biggest 'high risk high reward' player that was selected! He could be the next Dirk Nowitzki or he could be the next Darko Milicic or Nikoloz Tskitishvili (google him). Its pretty hard to pass judgement since he is a relative unknown...Based on the 30 seconds of individual workout video we saw after he was selected he seems to have a great shooting stroke and be a pretty good athlete for a 7'1'' guy...but only time will tell if this is a good pick or not.

Charlotte Hornets

This isn't a knock on Frank 'the tank' Kaminsky at all, but this choice was a little confusing only because the Hornets recently picked up Spencer Hawes, a player with very similar abilities to Kaminsky, in the trade that sent Lance Stephenson to the Clippers...Maybe a trade or some type of deal is in the pipeline? Who knows, but it seemed strange to select someone who is almost a carbon copy of someone you already have with such a high pick.

Those were just a few of the thoughts that were running though my head while watching yesterday!

*rant alert* One thing that I found absolutely stupid while watching was the stat they pulled out giving a percentage on a players chances of being a star or a when after D'Angelo Russell was selected some stats guy said he had a '41% chance of being a bust' I would love to know how he possibly came to that conclusion! Im not a Charles Barkley type who thinks advanced stats are worthless and serve no purpose because they do...However I found it stupid how someone ,somehow, calculated a 41% chance of him being a bust! The guy hasn't even stepped on an NBA court yet!!


Thursday, 25 June 2015

NBA Draft

Tomorrow the 2015 NBA draft takes place! A very exciting time for all NBA fans to sit back and watch a new wave of talent enter the league! For 60 players from all around the world dreams will be made true when they hear their names get called out.

That dream has come true for two Kiwis. Sean Marks was the 44th pick by the NY Knicks back in 1998 and more recently Steven Adams was the 12th pick by the OKC Thunder in 2013. Though he went un-drafted Kirk Penney has also played a few games for the Miami Heat and LA Clippers during his career...Lastly for Breakers fans Ced Jackson has played alongside LeBron James in Cleveland while also playing a few games for the Spurs and the Wizards

Although I find the entire thing entertaining to watch my favourite part is the late second round. The first round is obviously fun but everybody knows who the top prospects are and it can be somewhat predictable. Most years somebody who was expected to be taken high slips and someone who was expected to be taken a little later gets taken earlier and on occasion someone who nobody has ever heard of gets selected (Like Bruno Caboclo last year) Plus Danny Ainge of the Celtics likes throwing a spanner in there from time to time and make a few big trades. But the late second round (picks 45-60) is truly unpredictable...A lot of the time little known prospects from Europe and other countries get selected here and while they may not join the team right away, their progress is monitored by the team while they ply their trade elsewhere. 

This is where it could get quite exciting for NZ basketball fans...Isaac Fotu, who is surely a house hold name for basketball fans by now, is eligible to be selected and with his excellent showing at last years world cup and highly impressive rookie season in the Spanish ACB, one of the best leagues in the world outside the NBA, don't be surprised one bit if his name gets called. Just looking at the draft order the OKC Thunder have the 48th pick and how cool would it be to see him along side his old mate Steven Adams and the Spurs are known for liking their foreigners and they have the 55th pick. Regardless of whether it happens or whether it doesn't Isaac is definitely on the NBA radar and would still be a chance to crack the big league over the next few years even if he goes un-drafted...But how cool would it be to see his name get called? Thats the beauty of the draft! You just never know...6'8'' athletic and versatile forwards are quite sought after these days with the way the game is evolving and becoming smaller and quicker, hopefully someone will pick him up tomorrow.

Plus who doesn't love tuning in to see the Knicks faithful boo every pick and give commissioner Adam Silver a tough time up on the podium...The Knicks had one of the highest chances to get the top pick and were almost guaranteed a top two pick and one of the highly sought after big men Karl Anthony-Towns or Jahlil Okafor, but wound up slipping to the fourth pick. The reaction to whoever they pick will be worth tuning in for haha


Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Injury update

After a three week holiday around the United States its time to get back to training and preparing for the new season. This morning I had another catch up with the surgeon...After all the walking I did around the USA and all the travel and time spent in planes I was unsure what he would think...But he was very pleased with its progress.

While still feeling a little tender and weak it is considerable stronger and more mobile than when I met with him before I went away...Obviously those are two pretty good signs that everything is on track and recovering well.

The Breakers strength and conditioning coach Steve Buckley got the news he was wanting to here...I still have some restrictions on what I can and can't do in the gym but can do most things in there. Will be spending a lot of time on the rowing machine for the next few months, will have to find one with a comfortable seat!!

Next visit is in a month and if all is still on track I will be able to start jogging and build up to running...Its hard to put an exact date and time on things but the way things are going I'm expected to recover fully and be ready for the season. Which is obviously very pleasing.

*shameless plug alert* The NBA draft is coming up in a few days and tomorrow morning (7.45) ill be chatting about it on TAB trackside radio! So if your stuck in traffic and feel like hearing my voice (lol) make sure you tune in :)


Monday, 22 June 2015

Im back...

Over the past few weeks I have been away on holiday...To my surprise I actually had quite a few people asking why nothing has been posted for a few weeks, which I never thought would happen! But if I spent holiday time on the computer writing basketball related stuff my partner Bailee would have shanked me haha.

There was obviously a lot going on while i was on holiday! I was in San Francisco the day of game one of the NBA finals and it was pretty crazy! You couldn't go anywhere without seeing a Steph Curry singlet/shirt and there was a real buzz around the city. It was actually pretty funny how many people thought I played for Cleveland as I walked around the place! Must have confused me for Mozgov or something haha. I looked into going to the game but the cheapest tickets I could find where $500USD for seats that would need binoculars to see anything so the sports bar down the road from the hotel was a nice alternative, Warriors fans are definitely passionate!!

My toe is also recovering very well, I waited for a few months until after the season to go away so I didn't have to travel in a moon boot which would have been lame! So still on track for a full recovery there.

Theres also a lot coming up! The NBA is in a few days so ill definitely be giving my two cents on that! The NZ NBL final four is just around the corner (How about those Sharks!!). The Tall Blacks extended squad was just named and the Breakers roster is shaping up pretty nicely :)

Stay tuned

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Injury Update - Volume 3

Another visit to the surgeon! More good news :)

Two months post surgery and everything is right on schedule! Its healing nicely, the scar is barely even noticeable and is virtually pain free! Though I am still a few months away from being able to run around and do unrestricted basketball activity, I'm stoked that I can finally ditch the moon boot and live my day to day life normally.

Our strength and conditioning coach, Steve Buckley, also got the news he has been wanting to hear for a few weeks...I can start getting on the cardio machines (some of them) and start getting my fitness back as well as a few of the restrictions in the weight room have been removed! Steve is pretty good at what he does. Im looking forward to being able to get into a regular workout schedule and get back into good condition.

One thing I have done a few times is aqua jogging! When you think of that older people in the pool is probably what you think of, but it is considerably harder than it looks! Since I'm still a while away from being able to run a good mix of the bike and the pool will go along way to getting me in good shape until I can get on court again.

Though its not basketball related, I am going on holiday to the US for three weeks next week so I'm pretty glad I don't have to cart a moon boot around...Cant wait to go for a stroll through Alcatraz :)

Ive been given a little freedom to walk around with no boot which I'm stoked about...So I'm gonna go ahead and lay on the couch to watch the Warriors v Houston game haha


Monday, 18 May 2015

Clippers Clippers Clippers

Not to long ago I wrote a piece singing the Clippers praises! Labelled a talented, athletic and entertaining team but couldn't get it done when it mattered...I thought they had got over that hump! Well I was wrong...

They beat the Spurs, the kryptonite of many teams, in seven games. They continued their good form in game one versus the Rockets...Beating them in Houston WITHOUT Chris Paul then blew them out twice in LA in games three and four...Then it all went pear shaped!!

Game five wasn't really close! Maybe they relaxed a bit because they had game six at home up their sleeves? Who knows. Then game six happened! I don't like using the word 'choke' very often, but there is no other word to describe it!!! It was a collapse of epic proportions...I didn't actually see the game but I remember exactly what I was doing. I was strolling around the supermarket, checked the score on my phone and LA were up by 19 points with about three mins left in the third quarter! Its the NBA playoffs and you never want to just assume a team is going to win...But up 19 with just over a quarter to go in a series clinching game AT HOME, I wouldn't blame you for thinking the series was over. As I was driving home I pulled out my phone for an update and I couldn't believe what I saw...The Rockets were up 12 with just over a minute remaining, I was shocked. They didn't just lose, they got blown out!! As we all know by now Houston closed out the series at home by a pretty comfortable margin in game seven earlier today.

Despite beating the Spurs and initially stealing home court advantage of Houston...The Clippers are still the Clippers (I hate saying that, but you can't really deny that its true)

When I said the Clippers have a legit shot at winning it all I meant it. They beat the battle tested Spurs winning multiple must win games and big road games, they stole home court from Houston, Golden State looked vulnerable against Memphis (though they turned that around) and out East the Cavs had lost Kevin Love, Atlanta were in a dog fight with Washington and they were the team in the best form! Then it all came crashing down...

So the question has to be asked! Was this their best shot? Do they need some type of overhaul? Its hard to say! Here is a look at their roster situation for the next couple of years...Of their main rotation Blake Griffin, CP3 and JJ Redick are locked in for the next two seasons (So is Spencer Hawes) Matt Barnes is in for at least one more season, Jamal Crawford has a player option so who knows what will happen there...The glaring thing is that DeAndre Jordan is a free agent! He will no doubt be a hot commodity and may be tough to retain...The Clippers have a big off season ahead of them, I don't want to speculate over who I think will stay and who won't but will definitely be worth keeping an eye on and seeing what unfolds.

I was rooting for this team! They are fun to watch and have a lot of talent, but give credit where its due, the Rockets put three pretty good games together with their backs against the wall. I was hoping that the Clippers would be this years cinderella story and would make a run at the championship...unfortunately they showed that they are STILL the Clippers.


Tuesday, 12 May 2015

NBL - Mid season

Its around the half way point of the NBL season so I thought id have look at what has gone one so far.

The Nelson Giants and Wellington Saints have separated themselves as the two best teams over the first half of the season and barring injury id expect they will be the top two seeds heading to the playoffs, who finishes where is up for debate but based on form over the first half one would expect them to be the top two.

With all due respect to the Manawatu Jets and Taranaki Mountain Airs its looking like they will be the bottom two...The Jets have been playing well over the last few games but a bad start and a 2-7 record its probably a bit late, to have a shot they would pretty much have to win all their remaining games. At 0-8 the Mountain Airs will most likely wind up with the spoon!

The battle for the last two playoff spots is shaping up to be a tight one! The Rangers, Rams, Sharks and Hawks are all in with a shot...The Rangers are currently in 3rd place (5-4) followed by the Rams (5-5) then the Sharks (4-3) and in 6th are the Hawks (3-3) ...The Rangers and Rams have a small advantage in the win column, but the Sharks and Hawks have played a few less games. Based on current form id expect the Sharks to get in, after a 1-3 start they have been in good form over the past few rounds and its hard to bet against a team with that much talent, but that last spot is anyones guess! The Rangers have had some nice wins, like their big win in Wellington on april 24th, but have had some surprising loses mixed in there, like a home loss to the 7th place Jets this past round. Like the Rangers, consistency has also been the achilles heel of the Rams. They have played the most games in the league so far (10), if new recruit Jermaine Taylor can get hot and spark them to a little win streak to close out the season they will have a good shot to hang on to the playoff spot they are clinging to at the moment...The Hawks have played the least games so far (6) and have won 3 of their last four after a 0-2 start, with 10 games remaining they have a little more wriggle room than all of the teams above them. Should be a exciting second half seeing these four teams fight it out for those last two spots.

Since I've only seen one game in person its pretty hard to accurately pick who has been the 'MVP' up to this point. But I have a top three based on team record and season stats (in no particular order)

Torrey Craig

The Saints forward is averaging 24 points and shooting the ball at a very good clip (55/36/57) 10.6 rebounds, 1.5 steals, 1.5 blocks. Top 5 in scoring, rebounding (1st in O Boardss) and blocks, good shooting from the field and three and being on a top two team making Craig an easy choice.

Lindsay Tait

If the last 10 years of the NBL have proven one thing its that if Lindsay is on your team you have a pretty good shot a winning a championship. This season is no different, he's putting up 16.2 points on 57/32/57 shooting, 10 assists and 2.2 steals...I may be wrong but if he can keep his assist average over 10 I'm pretty sure that would be a new record, all the years I've followed and played in the NBL I can't remember anyone averaging double figure assists. Just like Craig the combination of numbers and his teams position on the ladder Lindsay will be in the conversation at seasons end.

McKenzie Moore

As I've mentioned a million times (ok about 10) when I write about the NBL I've only actually seen one game! But McKenzie Moore happened to be playing in that game. Though his team won the game against the Rangers I think its fair to say his NBL career got off to an average start from an individual standpoint! 8 points (2-11 shooting) 4 boards, 3 assists and 4 TOs...However he has been a model of consistency since then and is putting up 21.8 (44/23/73) 6.4 boards, 4.5 assists and a league leading two blocks per game. He might not be quite as efficient shooting the ball as Craig and Tait but his all round game combined with the Giants sitting pretty on top of the ladder definitely deserves mentioning at the halfway point.

Its shaping up the be an exciting second half of the year and am excited to see how it plays out!




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