Rick Daniel

Tearing Down the Nets

0301-Contact

Big game for me! I scored 37 points with two rebounds, two assists, four steals and a blog on almost 80% shooting. On the opposite side, Devon Harris never got into the flow after I drew two early fouls on him to put him on the bench (I hit 5 free throws in the first quarter). He scored 1 point  but had 7 assists. All of our starters scored in double digits, with Dwight Howard scoring 20.

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My secret to scoring so much was getting around my man for allot of layups and dunks. Seriously, I kind of wish we’d faced the Cavs instead because no one will take us seriously if we beat this slow Nets team. Conversely, if we lose our rep may never recover. In any case, it’s one game down, three to go.

- Rick Daniel

Conference Finals, Here We Come

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Yessir, as Dwight “Moe” Howard here epitomizes, we’ve eliminated Miami tonight and are headed to the Conference Finals! I scored 25 points with three boards, seven assists, two steals and a block. Big game! 0204-Wade

I had to match D-Wade here, who scored 24 points with seven boards three assists, one steal and two blocks because, well… someone had to, right? Right. That’s what I thought, too.

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My shooting touch was average at best, but I scored the big baskets. It’s going to have to improve when we play our next opponent, who will surely be Cleveland. That’ll be a tough series that… wait, what?

0204-PlayoffPicture

New Jersey took out Cleveland in seven?! What the hell?? It looks like we’re off to East Rutherford, NJ to play the Nets instead of the shores of Lake Erie. Wow. That’s a surprise. However, looking at this picture shows me that I could be in for my worst nightmare: a head-to-head with that dastardly Lyle Johnston of Houston (who already lead the Thunder one game to none – read about Johnston here and here) for the title. I don’t really want to face him because he’s seriously in my head but that would be the ultimate way to win the whole shebang, by overcoming my personal bugaboo. We’ll see what happens; we haven’t even started our series with New Jersey yet, so that’s a ways off.

- Rick Daniel

Half-Game Heat

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Another win, another poor performance by me. I scored a flashy 29 points on 63% shooting with 7 assists, but I topped last game with five turnovers. Just, wow. I’ve got to cut those down before they kill us. In the last three games against the Heat (going back to our final regular season match-up), I have had 13 turnovers.  Ouch.

Would someone please explain to the Heat that there are two halves to NBA games? Actually, don’t do that – it’s saving us that they only play hard for two quarters. Tonight they led by 7 at the half, but we finally started getting consecutive stops in the third quarter and were able to catch and pass them. In the 4th quarter we may have found our secret to slowing down Dwyane Wade (who scored 34 points tonight) and you’re not going to believe it: play Kevin Love on him. Yes, it sounds disastrous, I know. But here’s the thing: it worked. Love blocked a handful of Wade shots and layups in the final period and never got burnt off the dribble. Oh, and speaking of off the dribble…

0202-Dunk

… it’s time to show my latest dunk pic. This was in the 3rd quarter, and – I think, personally  – helped spark our run. We seem to play better when I get a slam or two to fire us up.

Well, we’re up 2-0 in the series and headed back to Orlando, but this game was allot closer then the first so something tells me Miami’s not going to roll over and die for us.

- Rick Daniel

Taking Our Talent to South Beach

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We played the Heat in game one of the second round, and I had a horrible game. Stat-wise I was fine, scoring 28 points with eight assists, but I had four turnovers and shot barely over 50% (0-3 on threes). We won handily, which surprised me. Here’s my favorite highlight.

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I dunked my first alley-oop dunk today! Vince Carter had the ball on the right wing and I cut around Mario Chalmers and found a wide-open lane to the basket so I called for a pass. The result is as above. Oh, and you might not be able to see in the above screens, but I’m trying to grow a playoff beard.

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It’s not looking great but by the next round (if we make it) I may have a real beard. Yay!

- Rick Daniel

Playing Poor but Moving On

0104-Dribble

Well we’re past the Hawks but I’m not feeling good about it. We won the series clincher by 14 but I shot 5-12 for 10 points. I dished out 10 assists as well, but 9 of those came in the first half. I actually didn’t score until midway through the third quarter. The Heat are going to eat me alive playing like that.

The second round matchups include Kings/Rockets, Thunder/Nuggets, Cavs/Nets and us vs. the Heat.

- Rick Daniel

Second Half Boom

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Game three was a serious test, at least for the first half. We entered the second half down a point and I was shooting terrible. I missed all of my jump shots and was 0-1 on threes. I had 16 points but they were all on drives, layups and foul shots. The second half came though, and someone apparently flipped a switch in my head.

I scored 20 points in the second half and shot 3-3 on treys in the 3rd quarter to lead us to another win.  I also had seven assists and three steals with no turnovers. We’re on the verge of pulling off a first round sweep! All of our starters actually scored in double digits to aid in the victory.

As for the rest of the playoffs, the only team to advance so far was New Jersey over Boston. They await the winner of Cleveland/Indiana. We’re going to get the winner of Miami/Milwaukee if we beat Atlanta. I do and at the same time don’t want to face Miami. They’ve given us hell all year but I’d like to be able to say – if  we win it all – that we didn’t take the easy road. Of course, that’s all speculation. We haven’t even put away the Hawks yet. On to the next game!

- Rick Daniel

Scoring Another Win

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Look familiar? No, this isn’t the same pic as last post, but I did the exact same thing in game 2. It was the end of the 1st quarter so I drove to the left of the basket and hit a buzzer beater. I’m good at hitting buzzer beaters that don’t matter.

0102-Crossover

My offense was on fire in game two. I scored 40 points on 75% shooting (2-2 from distance)  with 1 rebound and 4 assists I had to score well, it turned out, for two reasons. For one, my team went cold on me. Dwight had 21 points, but Vince shot 3-8 (0-1 from deep) and Rashard Lewis shot only 4-13 (2-9 from deep). Ok, so that’s one reason. What was the other?

0102-BadD

We had absolutely no defense. I couldn’t stop my charges, and no one else was playing much ‘D’ either. I gave up something like 30 points among the three point guards I faced (Mike Bibby, Kyle Lowery and some kid named Teague) and the assists they dealt out. We needed every point I scored.

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I don’t have a particular story to go with this picture; I just like it. Anyway, we’re up 2-0 in our series.

- Rick Daniel

Exploding on the Scene

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What’s the big deal about the playoffs anyway? We just overwhelmed the Atlanta Hawks in our post season opener, 99-77.  At one point in the 2nd, we had a 24 point lead before losing most of it to end the half up only 9. In the third, though, the Hawks threw in the towel. We built up a 30+ point lead at one point! How did we do it? Well, for one thing, I was only a small part of it. I scored 25 points with 1 rebound, 4 assists, 2 steals and a block. I also had the only three-point miss we had, going 2-3 from deep. Vince Carter went 1-1 from distance, Matt Barnes shot 2-2 and Rashard Lewis went 3-3 from long range. It was a three-point barrage. I shot almost 80% from the field, too, hitting two buzzer beaters.

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This is the one I hit to end the first. Little did I know it was a harbinger of things to come. I also came into the game with 3.2 seconds left in the third. We had possession so I darted to the three point line from half court and shot a three that rattled around but ultimately fell. There’s no way in blue blazes we can keep this up.

In other news, here are the awards from the season.

  • MVP: LeBron James (CLE) – 29.7 ppg, 8.5 rpg, 6.1 apg
  • Rookie of the Year: Charlie Webber (MIL) – 9 ppg, 9.95 rpg, 1.5 apg
  • 6th Man of the Year: Tyreke Evens (SAC) – 11.6 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 3.5 apg
  • Most Improved Player: Darrell Arthur (MEM) – 5.8 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 0.9 apg
  • Defensive Player of the Year: LeBron James (CLE) – 1.9 spg, 1.5 bpg
  • Coach of the Year: Paul Westphal (SAC) – 53-29, Won Conference

So I didn’t win Most Improved. I didn’t think I would; I started my surge a little late in the year. Compare my stats to the winner, Darrell Arthur.

  • Arthur:  5.8 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 0.9 apg
  • Daniel : 17.7 ppg, 1.1 rpg, 4.9 apg

You could make an argument for me, but that’s over. I’ll take an NBA championship over a personal award. C’mon team, that’s only one game! We’ve got more work to do.

(As a side note, this is our 100th NBA post. It doesn’t mean anything, but it’s interesting trivia.)

- Rick Daniel

Rick Daniel’s Stat Sheet Update

Quick note: Now that the 2010/11 season is over, Rick Daniel’s stat sheet has been updated. You can view it HERE. It’s also available in the menu at the top of the page, under NBA Player Cards, and then Stat Sheets.

Bulls and Cavs Games–Near Mirror Images

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We wrapped up the last two games on our schedule today. In our first game we walloped the Bulls by 19 points at their place. Yay! I had a good game, and so did Vince Carter. This is important; more on why later.

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I scored 34 points with six assists on 65% shooting (1-3 from deep). Vince scored 30 with four boards and two assists on 71% shooting (4-6 from deep). The sad point is that this has become an anomaly.

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You’re looking at two of the coldest shooters on the planet. No, not Mo Williams and Delonte West; me and Vince. We got crushed by the Cavs in our last regular season game. We only lost by 10 but that’s because they played their bench most of the 4th quarter against our starters and we chopped into their 29 point lead that they had. Once we got it down into single digits, the starters for Cleveland came back in, and that was the end of that.

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LeBron did well (ed: again, as a real-life Cavs fan, this sucked for me to watch). He scored 26 points with 10 boards and six assists. Damn Cleveland.

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Thanks to driving to the basket and a ton of fast-break dunks, I scored well, with 23 points, eight assists, and four steals on 41% shooting (2-3 from distance). I also only had one turnover.

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I also hit a personal milestone. 500 career assists! On the other hand, Vince had one of his many recent cold shooting games. He scored 8 points on 21% shooting (3-14), including 2-7 from three-point land. We can’t afford him to be cold now! The playoffs have started!

Yes, it’s time for the playoffs. I believe we play the Hawks at home. I’ll check back in once that gets underway.

- Rick Daniel

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