Wednesday, June 19, 2013

The Flu, The Flash, and The Worse Way to get 'ROB'bed

Game 5's all about momentum shift. On a  2-3-2 format, this is the game the either sends you home via 4-1 or prolonging the anxiety via 3-2. Game five is the last home game of the lower seeded team in the NBA finals so this game is a deciding one for the series and for the past few NBA championships we, basketball fans, have witnessed game five is as good as advertised.

Let's take a look back at game 5 performances of the ages.

1. Michael Jordan (1997)

"That was probably the most difficult thing I've ever done" - Michael Jordan
In front of a 19, 911 anxious crowd, being diagnosed with stomach virus, and Utah winning two straight games, his airness gave the basketball world a performance with no excuse.  Tim Grover, Jordan's athletic trainer, claimed that MJ's sickness was brought by a food poisoning because of the pizza he ate a night before the game. You can read the story here. MJ was told by his trainer that there is no way he can play for game 5 due to the fact that he can even barely sit up. With the series tied at 2-2 and the Bulls' fate unclear as their leader's presence remains questionable hours before tip-off, Jordan, visibly weak and pale carried the Bulls to win the game putting them in command of the series 3-2.  Forever remembered as "the flu game", Michael Jordan, just gave the Utah Jazz' fans one more reason to hate him. Playing with flu-like symptoms or, we should say being food poisoned, yet providing 38 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 steals, and 1 block all in a jam packed 44 minutes of action add insults to injury. Witness the flu game here.

2. Dwayne Wade (2006)
Wade torched the Mavs with 43 points and setting an NBA Finals record of 21 free throws made in a single game.

Before the Big 3, "the flash" was already a force to be reckoned with in the NBA. His first NBA Finals appearance was, up to date, the most highly adored performance of all-time. Topping the ESPN's Greatest Finals Performance defeating Michael Jordan on the race; 2006' NBA Finals was a series to remember because of this man and game 5 of that series out-shined all his other games. He was clearly very unstoppable at that time that the only way to minimize his damage was to send to him to the stripe - Wade then attempted 25 free throws on that game alone. Mark Cuban, Mavs' team owner, was fined with a head shaking 250,000 dollars for "acts of misconduct" on this game due to controversial fouls and questionable officiating he violently questioned. Judge it for yourself, watch as "the flash" rolled his way to his first championship ring here.

3. Robert Horry (2005)

'Big Shot Rob' does it again!
12 lead changes and 18 ties, Spur-Pistons series came down to the wire. Game was so close that even 48 minutes of basketball isn't enough so they proceeded to overtime. Disregarding Duncan and Manu's stats because we are always expecting them to deliver big numbers, Robert Horry was more like the story of the game. Providing 21 points off the bench with a 5-out-6 shooting beyond the arc, and more importantly, the late game winning jumper were Horry's contributions. Watch as the Pistons got robbed here. How's that for a Horry's scale, eh?

Friday, June 14, 2013

Nightmare Memories of Games 3 and 4

16 3-pointers made is the story of the game as the Spurs behind Green and Neal set an NBA Finals record for most 3-pointers made causing a 36 point lead deficit over the Heat. You think that's too much to handle for the Heat? If you say yes, think again! That blowout may have come so close but still so far for this historical game I'm about to feature.

Bulls vs Jazz, Game 3 (1998)

The look on the Jazz's bench tells it all. 42-point  blowout on game 3 of the 1998 NBA Finals,  ouch!
Nothing like the game when all your players scored at least a point and the visiting just team can't buy a bucket at all cost. Karl Malone can't do it by his own scoring as the high point man for the Jazz and the only Utah player in double digits while the Bulls are hitting on all cylinders. Started with the stifling defense then shocking the Jazz with an offensive barrage they've never seen before, the greatest NBA Finals blowout just cemented its place in history. They say a picture is worth a thousand words but a video is worth a thousand pictures; watch the onslaught here.

Now to game 4 we go, Miami stunned the Spurs with their Big 3 providing 85 points all combined tying the series 2-2. Speaking of Big 3's, 10 years after the biggest blowout in NBA Finals history came the biggest comeback win in NBA Finals history featuring the Boston's super trio (KG, Pierce, Allen). 

Lakers vs Celtics, Game 4 (2008)
Down by as big as 24, the Celtics climbed their way back to the top and finishing the game as the winners.
This, up to date, is a complete shocker. As the old saying goes "offense wins games but defense wins championships." But the victory can't be solely credited to the Celtics' lock down defense but also to its execution of championship caliber offense. Even if you're to check the box score everyone was doing their part but only the more determined team showed more of its heart - Celtics. It is deemed non debatable that all Celtics-Lakers game are worthy of watching because of the rich history this two have. Game 3 of 2008 NBA finals is one of my favorite and my favorite individual performance was when Ray Allen blows past Vujacic scoring the nail on the coffin. Ready to relive a rivalry and this epic match? Here you go. 

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Shooting explosion in Game 2 of NBA Finals

I know it's kind'a late right now for another review of a memorable game 2 now that 2013 NBA Finals is already done with it, but trust me with this one as the next game I'm about to feature has gone beyond the unthinkable.

Ray Allen gives a shooting clinic to the Lakers (2010)

Humiliated on game 1, the C's look to steal a road victory against their arch rival Los Angeles Lakers. Determined to make a push, Coach Doc Rivers calls a timeout and during the huddle he instructs his boys that someone should step up. He got what he was looking for as Ray Allen, the greatest shooter of all time, answered the call and performed the greatest shooting display in NBA finals history torching the Lakers with a record shattering 8 swishes beyond the arc breaking the previous record of 7. The C's were successful on winning a game on road as they head back to Boston tying the series at one a piece thanks to Allen's magnificent shooting who finished with 32. Watch the Allen's memorable shooting night here.

Saturday, June 8, 2013


Forty years later or  after six presidents, Philippines is once again hosting the most prestigious basketball league in the continent. The host should have been Beirut, Lebanon but with security issues that are yet to be stable as of the moment, Filipinos will enjoy the home court advantage then. The draw was held at Manila Hotel on June 6 with Team Pilipinas being the 13th and the privilege to select which group to join, also, 2 teams from the SEABA region are yet to be determined as they will still battle their way for their respective slots in a qualifying match.

On the side of the globe, Smart Gilas boys are busy on a training camp at Lithuania to sharpen those weapons.  Group A, you think we can smoothly make it to the next round? And, more importantly, can we end the drought for a taste of a gold medal? Your support can make a difference; support our campaign for Asian Basketball Supremacy. Like Smart Gilas' facebook page for update. FIBA Asia Championship commences on August 1 and ends on August 11. Mabuhay ka Pilipinas!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Remembering Two of The Most Memorable NBA Finals Game 1 Performance

Teams winning game 1 have more chances of wining the series in the NBA Playoffs, at least that advanced statistics would enlighten you how crucial a series opener is. It puts your team ahead of the series and could serve as a stepping stone to clinch a 2-0 lead. You steal a game on road or you \protect the home court advantage, it doesn't matter, giving your all is  what matters in the grandest stage of NBA playoffs - the Championship. In this article, we take a look back on NBA Finals Game 1 performances that totally deserves a distinction.

1. Allen "The Answer" Iverson (2001)

After draining a deadly step-back jumpshot over Tyrone Lue, AI walks past his defender .
The Lakers were 12-0 prior to this game as they swept all of their opponents from the Western Conference and many predicted that the Sixers-Lakers series would also end up the same. Iverson says "no-no" to that as he carried the load to win a game on road by chipping in a magnificent 48 points(30 of those were produced on the 1st half), 5 steals, and 6 assists giving the Lakers their only loss in that championship run. The Iverson-led Sixers won 107-101, imagine how Iverson singlehandedly carried his team with 48 points yet only winning by six. Watch the epic performance here

2. Michael "Air" Jordan (1992)

Jordan lit up the scoreboard on the game 1 of 1992 finals by scoring 35 points in the first half.
Before the memorable game winner by his airness at Utah called "the shot" there was this thing they called "the shrug" which transpired on a championship series against Portland. Analysts thought that Bird-Johnson rivalry would be relived as two elite guards on their prime battled it out, Jordan and Drexler respectively, but it would turned out that MJ would own the series. Game 1 was a taste of MJ's unparalleled greatness setting an NBA Finals records for most points scored in the first half and shot six three pointers to set another record which then was broken years later. Jordan dominated the game in his fashion finishing 39 points and 11 assists in a game 1 blowout against a future team mate for the Barcelona Olympics, Clyde "the glide" Drexler. Watch "the shrug" game here.