Selection Sunday is a thing of the past—it’s now time for Manic Monday, where most of the country wastes time filling out their brackets and trying to find the big upset that will put their sheet over the top.
The field of 68 is set, but it did not come without some controversy.
Teams got in that no one thought would—hello, UAB and VCU; others got snubbed that looked like they were locks—hello, Colorado and Virginia Tech.
But no need to be angry because March Madness is finally upon us.
In other basketball related news, Carmelo Anthony and the New York Knicks still aren’t very good. They lost by 13 points to the lowly Indiana Pacers on Sunday evening.
All that talk about them possibly being a real contender with Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire was just that—talk.
Jalen Rose and the rest of the Michigan “Fab Five” got the royal treatment from ESPN with their 30 for 30 series was dedicated to the rise and fall of that team. It was a fascinating in-depth look at everything that the players and school went through during that period from 1991-1993.
We will have news and analysis on all these stories and many more throughout the day as the stories become available.
Adrian Wojnarowski is reporting on Twitter the Boston Celtics have acquired forward Jeff Green and Nenad Krstic in a deal that sends Kendrick Perkins and Nate Robinson to the Thunder.
It was widely known the Celtics had thoughts of moving Robinson before the deadline in favor of a more reliable bench player. This was assumed. This was logical.
The big man rounded out the Celtics squad upon his return to the team in late January and looked as capable as ever.
Only recently has Perkins encountered any issues, banging his knee (his other knee) in the Celtics last game against the Warriors. The report came that Perkins had suffered an MCL strain but would be back in only three games. He will be back…in a blue uniform.
With Nenad Krstic, the Celtics receive a reliable big man, not nearly as physical as Perkins.
Jeff Green is clearly the biggest bonus for the Celtics.
A physical player that can both shoot the ball and hit the boards, Green is a dynamic bench player for a Celtics team that had looked thin of late. Green, coupled with Delonte West, creates a starter-like duo off the bench.
With how hard Perkins worked to get back to form, it has to be a devastating hit to both the player and potentially the Celtics.
The advantage the Celtics had over the Heat (in particular) was they had multiple big men who could clog the lane. Perkins was a huge asset against Dwight Howard and the Magic and would no doubt have been very useful against the rebounding skills of Joakim Noah and Carlos Boozer.
Krstic is simply not the physical specimen Perkins is, no matter how much he adjusts to the body-banging style that exists in the East.
The Celtics now become increasingly reliable on Shaq to get back to health and stand ground against the East’s elite. Krstic will come off the bench once Shaq is healthy but doesn’t this seem odd?
With Shaq healthy, the Celtics would have had Perkins and Shaq to get physical and take fouls against the likes of Howard. Now it’s Krstic? A seemingly more advanced Semih Erden? Though Green is a great addition, the Celtics seem to be straying away from the philosophy that has gotten them where they are.
Now Ira Winderman is also reporting on Twitter the Celtics plan to acquire the Warriors’ Troy Murphy after he clears waivers.
The Celtics will likely start either Krstic or Garnett at center until Shaq is healthy with Murphy also potentially filling that gap.
The moves the Celtics are making have a smell of desperation that didn’t seem to exist. It is difficult not to wonder the age-old question, why try to fix something that isn’t broken?
Green was obviously the ultimate factor in Boston’s decision, thinking a vicious combo of Garnett and Green (eventually coming off the bench) will round out the team better than Robinson ever did.
Still, there is more to it than the perspective contained in the write-up.
With Perkins in a contract year, there is no doubt that, once the season ended, he would be receiving a huge paycheck from whichever team could handle it.
The Celtics clearly went the Carmelo Anthony route with this one, thinking that getting something out of Perkins’ remaining contract was the best way to go. For the common fan, it doesn’t seem that way. For an organization that needs to look toward the future with the a veteran team, reacquiring Green could wind up being a big building block.
The reality is an organization bred on physicality has acquired one (maybe two) softer centers for one of the most physical centers in the league in order to pick up a solid, albeit second-tier, power forward.
The new influx of Celtics’ players have only a couple months to mesh into a rounded, championship caliber team come April. But isn’t that what the Celtics already were?
Feb 19, 2011 – The Atlanta Hawks have not built a history worth bragging about, so you take what you can get. And tonight, during the 2011 Slam Dunk Contest, Hawks fans have a chance to enjoy a little national relevance. The dunk contest is the highlight of NBA All-Star Weekend, but it might not have gotten off the ground if not for Atlanta players.
Take a look at the list of past contest champions. The Hawks have won the dunk contest four times, which was more than any other team until the New York Knicks reached four last year. More critically for the contest’s viability, a pair of feuds in the 1980s boosted it from a sideshow to the main event, and both of those involved Hawks.
In 1986, five-foot-seven Spud Webb challenged teammate Dominique Wilkins, the defending champion, in the contest’s final round. The crowd turned strongly in Webb’s favor, grumbling at a Wilkins 360 earning the same score as a Webb one-hander. Webb beat Wilkins, and is still the shortest player to ever win the contest.
Watch some video of the 1985 or 1984 contests. There was nowhere near as much electricity as Webb was able to generate by being totally short all over the place.
Nique would bounce back to reclaim his title after the best duel in dunk contest history. Michael Jordan avenged his 1985 loss by topping Wilkins in 1987 and 1988, then retired from the event. Wilkins won in 1990, beating Scottie Pippen, whom Jordan was shown coaching in the art “doing it backwards.”
Josh Smith competed in two dunk contests, in 2005 and 2006. In ’05 he beat Amare Stoudemire’s off-the-backboard soccer header from Steve Nash with my favorite dunk of all time, a Nique tribute windmill while wearing a Hawks throwback with a very surprised Wilkins in attendance.
2006 champ Nate Robinson learned the lesson: always use former Hawks as props. The second-shortest champ dunked over a standing Spud Webb to bring home his first title.