All right! The folks over at Japan-based Dunk Shot have produced another odd manga-like take on an NBA team. While not long ago, BallinEurope showed the hoops-centric newspaper’s take on Kevin Love and the Eurowolves, this time it’s Chandler Parsons, Jeremy Lin and James Harden getting animated. Translation is forthcoming, but it seems as though the Rockets are preoccupied in similar fashion to the Timberwolves, i.e. it’s all about pursuing the ladies, and Harden (like Nikola Pekovic before him) appears to be having troubles. It’s gotta be the beard, eh?
Here on The Continent, all but the hardiest envy those in the Western Hemisphere today; as the holiday fades into evening here, the NBA’s awesome quintupleheader is just beginning: To watch this live, the European would have to pull an all-nighter, with wall-to-
wall basketball straight through to 7am or so. BallinEurope plans to watch the first two and get up before the rooster for the 4.30am CET tipoff of Clippers-Nuggets.
In any case, apologies for the delay, but below run BallinEurope Official Fearless Predictions™ for the Christmas slate. The first game’s already begun (full disclosure: as of this writing, it’s Brooklyn Nets 16, Boston Celtics 12), but BiE’s got the Cs winning in Spike Lee’s neighborhood – wish it could be proven, but BiE did post his vote this way in the ESPN Sports Nation poll today.
On the rest of the slate, the other OFPs include the Los Angeles Lakers over the Knicks in a nailbiter in which Steve Nash goes for nine assists (of course); the Oklahoma City Thunder over the Miami Heat by 8; the Chicago Bulls defend home court against the Houston Rockets, winning by 10 despite game high-scorer James Harden’s efforts; and in that battle of the league’s most exciting teams, the red hot Los Angeles Clippers extend the winning streak (which will end against the Celtics in their upcoming match) over the Denver Nuggets by, BiE’ll say, 11.
Enjoy the wall of ’ball; BallinEurope sure will…
Surely nothing can temper the giddy enthusiasm Houston Rockets fans are feeling today, thanks to a ridiculous performance on Opening Day by their team’s new acquisition, ol’ What’s His Name, so BallinEurope will sneak in this bit of bad news.
Back in August, Real Madrid was reportedly wooing Sergio Llull with a nearly unheard-of six- to seven-year extension, which have kept the Spanish guard on Los Blancos’ roster through at least 2019-20. Resolution was finally announced today and, while Llull’s new deal doesn’t run quite as long as projected, let’s just say that we won’t be seeing him in Texas (or any NBA city) any time soon (if ever).
Right, with the weekend over and many an hour spent viewing the roundball, BallinEurope rounds up some news items – and video clips! – from the week that was.
• Could this be Real Madrid’s year? Los Blancos are exactly one Rudy Fernandez miss from a perfect 8-0 overall mark early in 2012-13 after topping Caja Laboral Baskonia, 83-81, in overtime this weekend in the Liga Endesa.
Baskonia got a combined 47 points from Nemanja Bjelica and Maciej Lampe while turning over the ball just once – thus not allowing Real to demonstrate their nice quick transition to the fast break – yet ultimately couldn’t answer what’s looking like the best team out of Spain this season.
From the wire, a few details on the new contract that Team Spain’s Serge Ibaka signed yesterday with NBA Western Conference champs the Oklahoma City Thunder. In sort, The Blocksmith is set to bag $48 million over the next four years…
The United States Dream Team of NBA stars captured their second Olympic men’s basketball gold medal in a row and the 14th overall for America by beating Spain 107-100 in Sunday’s final. The US multi-millionaire lineup of NBA elite claimed their fifth crown in the past six Olympics, improving to 62-since revamping the national team program after settling for bronze in 2004.
The Americans ran through the tournament undefeated just as they did in 2008 when they defeated Spain 118-107 in the Beijing final. The latest roster had five gold winners from Beijing and five from the US 2010 world champions.…
While we’re a little ways away from actually awarding medals for 2012 Olympic basketball, the first round showed international hoops fans quite a lot. Though the fat lady hasn’t sung yet, reputations have changed over the past five games to cause some individual and/or teams losses beyond these Olympics. BallinEurope today takes a look at those whose stock has risen and those who’ve fallen in the early going of the London Games.
• Lebron James. Yeah, like this guy needs a further upward trend in his already all-time lofty-looking career. Four years ago, ESPN’s Bill Simmons proclaimed (correctly, in BiE’s opinion) that in 2008 ‘Games crunch time, “everyone deferred to Kobe, who made some monster plays to clinch it. Know that in the history of the NBA we have never had the best-player-alive argument resolved so organically.” In 2012, King James has proven himself to be the best player on the best team in this Olympic tournament.
This one goes out by request to BallinEurope’s Lithuanian agent Y. … with Team USA coming together to play the Dominican Republic today – with or without Chris Paul – BiE tries to answer the question “Who [if anyone] can beat Team USA?”
A few gauntlets have been thrown by the Americans already, the least of which is certainly not the roster itself. That roster, one more time, is the following.
Carmelo Anthony (New York Knicks)
Kobe Bryant (Los Angeles Lakers)
Tyson Chandler (Dallas Mavericks)
Okay, okay, BallinEurope’s gonna do the traditional thing … congratulations out to the Miami Heat and its clear MVP Lebron James for their 2012 NBA Championship win. James’ triple-double in the decisive game five appropriately capped a playoff run during which he fought off criticism and doomsayers as much as the Oklahoma City Thunder.
As for the Continent’s representatives in the NBA’s final game of this too-quick, madcap season … Ronny Turiaf earns his first ring after joining Miami with 21 games left to play; Le Bleu saw court time in 13. The three minutes he played in last night’s game five were his first in the series, but kudos nevertheless. BiE can’t help but wonder how long it’ll be until Turiaf’s balling here full-time in Europe…
It’s always a good time for some predictions, eh? Sam Chadwick, Ball in Europe’s man in the UK, today dusts off the Official BallinEurope Crystal Ball in looking forward to another year of top-quality basketball in the world’s top competitions. Who does Sammy like in the NBA, Euroleague, college ball and the Olympics? Read on to find out (and see plenty of highlight clips).
This year sees the London Olympic games, a shortened NBA season, another year of Euroleague basketball and the NCAA Final Four – what more could we possibly ask for? Happy new year…