BALLIN’

Carlos Correa of the Houston Astros led off the bottom of the 11th inning last night with a walk-off home run to tie the A.L.C.S. with the New York Yankees at 1.

Minute Maid Park was rocking all night long.

While rounding the bases after his blast, between third and home plate, Correa was coming down the line and witnessed his teammates waiting for him at the plate.  Correa pulled up, stopped on a dime and removed his helmet.   He then proceeded to do his best Eric Gordon impression by shooting a sweet looking jumper…with his batting helmet as the ball.   Correa has serious rise on his jay.   The Ponce, Puerto Rico native might have played ball back in the day with my main man Raul Orta?

Game 3 is Tuesday afternoon at 4:00 in the Boogie Down.

I thought I saw Russell Westbrook sitting behind home plate?  Dude would have made for an outstanding baseball player.

This past weekend was the annual BCAM (Basketball Coaches Association of Michigan) Coaches Clinic at Oakland University.  It’s an outstanding event.  I usually attend but missed it this year.  As usual, there were a few outstanding speakers sharing valuable information.

Dan Young has taken over as Executive Director for BCAM, he’s a great guy who wants the best for coaches.

Tom Izzo, Nate Oats, Phil Martelli, Brian Morehouse, Porter Moser, Saddi Washington, Fred Castro and Ryan Cottingham all were fantastic.

Nate is in his first season at Alabama – he’s going to do great.  Roll Tide…

We didn’t get good at offensive transition until we became a better defensive team,”  Oats told the crowd.

So true.  Your defense makes your offense.

Martelli is in his first year as an assistant coach at the University of Michigan – Phil is a Philadelphia guy and he talked about getting a good slice of pizza in Michigan.  I texted him and told him try NYPD in Ann Arbor.  Buddy’s is another decent joint.   How great is this?  He gave out his cell phone number.  His phone is probably blowing up.

Cottingham, from Spring Arbor, check that, National Champion Spring Arbor brought a ton of energy and passion.  He’s one of the best in the State.

Clinics are a great way to improve as a coach and most important network with others in the profession.

Al Horford, by way of Grand Ledge, Michigan on his time with the Celtics.  https://www.bostonherald.com/2019/10/09/al-horford-finds-hope-in-philly-after-celtics-crash/amp/?__twitter_impression=true

“I just think that if Kyrie would have stayed, I don’t know if it would have worked. There would have had to be some major changes as far as players, because it was just clear that the group that we had just wasn’t going to be able to coexist.”

Lots of talk about the NBA and China.  I prefer not to comment on it publicly mainly because I do not know enough about the subject.  By now you should know what’s been going on.  Last night I watched “60 Minutes” and they did a special on the action in Hong Kong.  Must watch TV – I learned a little bit more about the situation.

Share the ball.  Sprint back on defense.  And always be an outstanding teammate!

E-Mail:  Hoops135@hotmail.com

 

 

 

 

 

SUNDAY AFTERNOON RUN

Mike Malone, Denver Nuggets head coach:  “Do you want to be a part of winning team, or do you want to get numbers?   If everyone is true to their word and if they are trying to buy into being a championship-caliber team, the word we talked about opening night [of training camp] was ‘sacrifice’,  It’s like a paradox, ‘How do I sacrifice in the moment for something that’s going to help me in the future’? The reality is you want to be a part of a winning team.” 

Took in the Boston Celtics-Cleveland Cavaliers game today.

NBA TV from the T.D. Garden in Boston.

Mike Gorman and Tom Heinsohn on the call have been announcing Celtics games for 39 years.

Before the opening jump-ball, they showed a Health Report graphic on the screen with a few guys  from both teams resting for the game.  Heinsohn, who’s 85 years-old and is as old school as they come let out a sarcastic, “Days off, 10 days into the season we gotta have days off here.  Rest up.  WOW!”

Two former college guys, and good guys at that,  John Beilein and Brad Stevens coaching against each other.  I think more college guys can coach and do well in the NBA if they gave it a shot.  Someone who I know that would do well is Thad Matta.

Last season the Cavaliers scored 104.3 points per game – 2nd fewest in the NBA.   In the first quarter of today’s game Cleveland shot 1-12 from distance.  At the half they were 2-21.  To which the smarty-pants Heinsohn said, “They’re gonna get a half a point when they hit the rim.”

Celtics led 59-26 at the half.   Jaylen Brown was a +30 in 16 minutes.

Marcus Smart, one of my favorite Celtics shot 29.3% from distance his first 4 seasons in the league.  Last season he shot 36.4% from deep.  On Friday night against Orlando, Smart knocked down 4 of 6 from deep.  Work on your shot, you too can improve.

More old-school Heinsohn;  “All that show boating rookies like to do…”

I like the way Daniel Theis of the Celtics screens the ball and rolls hard to the goal.  Good hands.  Good feet.  Solid finisher.

Jim Calhoun, former Northeastern and UConn coach was spotted in the crowd.  Calhoun is currently the head coach at D-3 St. Joseph in West Hartford, Connecticut.

Brian Scalarbrine doing sideline reporting for Celtics.

Cavaliers shot 7-40 from downtown. Celtics 13-29.

Final score Celtics 118 Cavaliers 72.

Gary Harris of the Denver Nuggets was a multiple-sport athlete in high school.  https://www.denverpost.com/2019/10/12/nuggets-gary-harris-two-way-defender/

“Gary’s just a natural athlete, strong, physical,” Nuggets coach Michael Malone said. “He hits guys. He drops that shoulder and people are moving out of his way.”

During the preseason, teams that make the most 3’s are 35-13-2.  “Shoot it up and sleep in the streets.”

Happy birthday to the late Ray Williams.  The Mt. Vernon native would have been 65.

Show up.  Work.  Be a good person.  Keep going.  Stay positive and stay in the moment.

E-Mail:  Hoops135@hotmail.com

DON’T BELIEVE THE HYPE

Coach Nick Saban at the University of Alabama does not want his players listening to people on the outside.  https://nypost.com/2019/10/13/saban-brings-back-rat-poison-comments-after-alabama-win/

“You’ve got to focus on what are you doing right now, not what’s going to happen in the future, not really what happened in the past, but, ‘What can I learn from what’s happened in the past? How can I affect what’s going on right now?’ Because that’s what’s going to affect the future in a positive way. So, that’s how we want our players to think regardless of how difficult y’all make it for us sometimes with some of our players.”

New York Yankees went up 1-0 last night on the Houston Astros in the ALCS.   While that game was going on, the Suns were playing the Blazers on NBA TV, in between innings I was going and back and forth.   Suns came out on top 134-118 behind Frank Kaminsky’s 16 points and 8 assists.   The Wisconsin Badger alum shot 4-6 from distance.  I always have loved Frank’s game ever since his Big Ten days.   Keep in mind this is a guy who played 7 minutes per game as a freshman in Madison.   And no, he didn’t call daddy to come pick him up because he wanted to transfer.   Kaminsky worked on his game, improved and became the National Player of the Year.

The Suns shot an incredible 24-45 from downtown.  Kids, work on that 3-ball.

There’s been a handful of International teams visiting the States taking on NBA teams;  they haven’t done too well.  The L’s have been piling up.  -24, -36, -49,-14, -48, -40, -35, and the 76ers beat the Long-Lions by 58.

After seeing James Harden’s one-legged jump-shot, how many trainers around the country are teaching their clients that shot as we speak?  Red Holzman is rolling over in his grave.

Get well Dan Gilbert, owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers.  Gilbert is recovering at home after suffering a stroke in May.

Zion Williamson plays his home games at the Smoothie King Center.  Perfect place for Zion, this dude is as smooth as they come.  He’s 19 years-old.  Not sure if I have ever seen a rookie as poised as this guy.   In his past two preseasons games, Williamson is shooting 21-of-25 overall.  It was his second consecutive game with at least 25 points while shooting 75% from the floor.  The Pelicans take on the Spurs tonight.  This Friday the Pelicans close out the preseason in New York City to take on the Knicks at the Garden.  Despite what K.D. said, it will be cool to be around 33rd and 7th.  Also,  good job by the NBA on Christmas night, Pelicans take on the Denver Nuggets on ESPN.

Jay Williams of ESPN is wrong, the Golden State Warriors WILL make the playoffs.  As long as Draymond Green stays healthy the Dubs will be fine.

Happy birthday Doc Rivers, Derek Harper and Reggie Theus,

Stay in the present moment and give a good day.

-Steve Finamore

Hoops135@hotmail.com

 

 

 

ONE MORE

The Cleveland Cavaliers visited Detroit last night to take on the Pistons.   Cavaliers new head coach, John Beilein was back in Michigan where he coached the Wolverines for 12 seasons.  Did you realize Beilein has never been an assistant coach in his entire coaching career?   Beilein stood up on the sidelines for most of the game, he had to wear a jacket too.  Enjoyed seeing the Cavaliers run some of Beilein’s offensive action he utilized at Michigan.  Moving without the ball. DHO’s, screening,  back-door cuts, etc.

Early in the first quarter I heard the Pistons fans chanting,  “DE-FENSE!”

Despite the chants, I saw a lot of open seats around the arena.  Idea for the Pistons marketing department;  invite high school basketball teams to the game, free of charge.

Christian Wood of the Pistons reminds me of Edgar Jones.

Final score, Pistons 109 Cavaliers 105.

Jenna Schroeder was one of the officials in the game.  She’s from Clio, Michigan.  Played her college ball at Oakland U and Saginaw Valley.  Thought she did a solid job.

Around the league I have seen reserves closing out games, not just in garbage time – close games too.  Same thing last night with Cavs and Pistons – guys fighting for jobs.   The coach wanting to see if guys can make big plays down the stretch.

In the first week of preseason games, I am impressed with the energy, excitement and passion displayed by many players.  I especially like guys on the bench staying connected with the game and cheering on their teammates.

Moses Brown from Molloy High School in Queens trying to win a roster spot with the Portland Trailblazers.

Watching a replay of the Warriors vs T-Wolves from Thursday night,  Golden State announcer said, “And Steph can be back in the MVP conversation.”  SMH

Marc Berman on the New York Knicks performance last night from a sold-out MSG.  https://nypost.com/2019/10/12/mkca-make-knicks-cool-again-will-take-time-as-loss-shows/?utm_source=twitter_sitebuttons&utm_medium=site%20buttons&utm_campaign=site%20buttons

They were outclassed by Wizards star shooting guard Bradley Beal, who pumped in 21 first-half points as the Wizards built a 65-47 halftime lead.

The Knicks’ only star Friday was its crowd. The Knicks sold out their preseason home opener.

Chanting “de-fense’’ in the final quarter as the Knicks mounted a charge, the Garden has miraculously stayed mostly packed amid a depressing six-year playoff drought.  But even they booed the club in the final seconds.

In China the Brooklyn Nets beat the Los Angeles once again, 91-77.   That’s two wins for Brooklyn over LA in the past 48 hours.   Caris LeVert, who played two minutes in their first meeting was back on the floor and scored 22 points in 22 minutes.   Kyrie Irving, who played one minute on Thursday, did not play.  Taurean Prince kept up his hot shooting by going 4-5 from downtown.   He’s now 14-19 in the Nets first three games.    The Nets are 3-0 in the preseason.

Speaking of the deep ball, NBA teams that make more 3’s than their opponent in the first 42 preseason games are 29-11-2.   In their 4 preseason games the Houston Rockets (3-1) have attempted 66, 48, 53 and 64 three-point shots.

Shoot it up and sleep in the streets.” –Kevin Loughery

Happy birthday Charlie Ward.

Stay in the present moment and give a good day.

Steve Finamore

Hoops135@hotmail.com

 

 

 

JESSE FONG

Back in the day when Chris Mullin was a freshman at Power Memorial high school in Manhattan, he played on the freshmen basketball team.

The following season Mullin played for the junior varsity team.

His teammate both years was Mario Elie.

The Panthers did not lose a single game in two years.

Power also had a very good player on those teams by the name of Jesse Fong;  a very underrated player.

James Harden leads the league (preseason) in scoring and assists.  Nate Archibald is the only player in NBA history to lead in both.  In 1973 the Bronx, New York native dropped 34 per game and dished out 11 assists per game.

Steph Curry dropped 40 points in 25 minutes last night in a 143-123 win over the T-Wolves.   The former Davidson Wildcat knocked down 6 3’s.  Curry finished 14-19 overall from the field.  The Warriors made 19-37 from distance.  Draymond Green was 2-2.

Good read on Detroit Country Day alum, Edmond Sumner.  https://www.nba.com/pacers/news/sumner-speeds-development-slowing-down

“Ed Sumner has a lot of potential, is really good,” Malcolm Brogdon said. “He’s had a terrific summer, a terrific preseason. I’m surprised about his game and his potential and level of play. I’m excited to play with him; he’s explosive.”

John Beilein returns to the State of Michigan tonight with his new team.  The Cavaliers visit L.C.A. to take on the Pistons.

Solid Q&A with Dirk.  https://www.sportingnews.com/us/nba/news/one-on-one-with-dirk-nowitzki-mavericks-legend-reflects-on-final-nba-season-talks-post-basketball-life/78paigfqblmx16al8sstte2ib

“When you’re over 30, you need to keep a certain level of fitness during the summer, otherwise you’re behind by too much and it takes too long to get back.”

Message to Steve Kerr and Pop, let it go…Breathe in, breathe out, 3 times.

Happy birthday Norm Nixon

Stay in the present moment and give a good day.

Steve Finamore

Hoops135@hotmail.com

 

 

 

BIG BEN

Sports teams bring in guest speakers all the time.

Former athletes, business folks, motivational speakers,  people who have a strong, inspiring message… anything to help the team.   It can be a positive word, an example of overcoming adversity, or an inspirational message.  Most of them speak from experience.

When I was a boys high school varsity head coach, I tried to bring in speakers all the time.  I once had Kirk Cousins come in and talk to our guys.

The New York Knicks brought in Ben Wallace to speak to the squad.

“[Wallace] talked about everybody being willing to sacrifice and contribute to the team from the standpoint it could be someone different every night,” said Knicks head coach David Fizdale.

https://nypost.com/2019/10/10/no-star-knicks-get-a-look-at-their-inspiration/

Man, I want this team to embody that kind of identity: toughness, the will to win, competitiveness, the defensive mindset, the team mindset,” Fizdale said.  “(Wallace) was one of the most selfless players in the league.”

“It was extremely powerful what he talked about, his experience and how he sees a lot of similarity to what we’re doing to how they built it in Detroit.”

Stay present and give a good day…

-Steve Finamore

Hoops135@hotmail.com