Monthly Archives: June 2010

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Blocking Felton

I had a very off game, scoring-wise, against the Bobcats tonight. I only had 4 points on 2-9 shooting (0-2 from deep), but like any good player I found other ways to contribute. In particular, I pitched in 3 assists, 3 steals and 2 blocks – one of which you see above. That was when Raymond Felton got past me on a secondary break, but I pulled a LeBron and swatted him from behind. We ultimately won the game by 13. We’re on a roll!

- Rick Daniel

The Beatdown on Beantown

Boston was in town today, and they always seem to play well against us. Or maybe we play poorly. One of the two. Anyway, I prepared for a long night of chasing Rajon Rondo around and the subsequent loss. What I found was a pleasant surprise.

Thunder over Rondo Duck and cover, Rondo! Hoop and the harm! I slammed this dunk over Rondo early in the game, netting me an old-fashioned three-point play. I had a whale of a game, with a career high 19 points to go with five assists and a steal on 6-7 shooting, including…

For Three! … 2-2 from deep. YES! I finally hit some threes! My shot may be ugly, but it works, dammit.

Ray Allen and I neutralized each other’s scoring with 19 apiece, and Dwight Howard out-worked Kevin Garnett for 23 points to his 21. The difference was the players after the top two. The rest of Boston’s starting five combined for 18 points, while ours scored 35. Ha! We won big, 87-65. At one point we were nearly up 30 so I and the rest of the starters got yanked. Great game!

- Rick Daniel

Squashing the Bayou Bugs

Our most recent match was against the New Orleans Hornets. I kind of disappeared this game, for whatever reason. I only had six points on 2-5 shooting (2-2 from the charity stripe), but I did add a rebound and four assists. The good news is that I had one game-changing play.

001_DunkOnNO I had a dunk at the 3:45 mark in the 4th to finally tie things back up after we were down most of the game. After that, we went on a 13-4 run over the next two minutes to win the game. Another victory!

- Rick Daniel

Getting Better all the Time

My latest games saw me first taking on the Wizards at home. Gilbert Arenas wasn’t too much too handle, but getting put on Randy Foye in the 4th quarter exhibited a weakness I’d not thought about yet – but I’ll get to that in a minute. The first highlight was at the end of the 4th. We were down three and I had the only open shot at the tying basket.

wizshot1I pulled up over Foye, and the ball took forever to get to the rim.

wizshot2Time seemed to stand still as the ball continued it’s arc. Finally hitting the rim, it spun around the cylinder four whole times before finally falling through the twine. YES!! Tie game and we’re headed to overtime!

whosclutchWho’s clutch? Yeah, that’s right, I’m clutch.

But I’m also exhausted.

I finally caught on here that my stamina was a real problem. I had literally nothing left for the OT session and we got blown out (Foye finished with 30 points). Dammit. I made two decisions after this game. Number one was to work hard on my stamina, and number two was to slow the game down and not run full-tilt so much. We got to put both of those plans in to practice against the Mavs. That game became my own personal dunk exhibition.

mavdunk1Dunk #1: Over Jason Terry.

mavdunk2 Dunk #2: Over Jason Kidd and some rook names Dawson.

mavdunk3Dunk #3: On the fast break. Which one wins? Yes, I know I don’t dunk  very flashy, but this was the first time I had multiple dunks in a game. Cut me some slack.

swoopmav I had a very good game (for me, obviously). I had ten points in the first half, and followed that up with four more points and three assists in the second half. I also shot over 50%. I also only had one turnover.

So, slow the game down some and work on my stamina and we can win a couple of these games. I’ll try and keep those keys in mind.

- Rick Daniel

Iverson Comes to Prove a Point

Irony is a cruel mistress. One game after I commented that I play like Allen Iverson, the man himself comes to town with the Trailblazers to prove that, while I may play like AI, I am most definitely not AI.

AI Here he is, and yes, that’s me behind him, trying to keep up. I was on him most of the fourth quarter, and held him quiet in the half-court, but he lit me up in transition. In the end, he scored 21 points to my 12 and had four assists to my three, but while playing off him I picked Andre Miller’s pocket three times to lead him in steals, 3-1. However, I also led him in turnovers, 3-0. Stupid slippery ball.

BadJ My jumper was off. Again. WTF?! Every blasted shot drifts left. What, The. Hell?? I’m supposed to be ultra-consistent, but it looks like I’m just consistently bad.

SkyingVsPort One more dunk for my highlight reel, though! I need to work on my hops and get some real dunking skills.

OverWade

Speaking of dunking, I don’t know why I never posted on my victory over the Heat a while back. It  came between the Celtics games and  the Clippers game. Here I dunk past Dwyane Wade in the league’s little-known new rule, ‘Rick Daniel must dunk on one star player each game.’ I like this new rule, by the way. Anyway,  I had 11 points that game to get us a five point win.

* By the way: we’ve got a new banner. The old one badly needed an update, so I put this new design together. *

- Rick Daniel

Clipped by Los Angeles

We finally faced my old team, the Clippers, and I almost played the hero again. But I didn’t. Damn it all.

UpAndUnder I played really, really well tonight, making the Clippers look bad for letting me go. Ha. I never liked them anyway. I got to the rim allot, and they fouled me allot. I never got a shot at a three point play, but I made both freebies all four times I went to the line. Late in the game, L.A. went up by one with under twenty seconds in the game. I caught the inbounds pass on the next play, and had a great look that I had to take – early in the clock or not.

LateOverGordanIt was good! Now up one with 14.5 to play, we just had to get a stop. One, single stop. Needless to say, we didn’t . Baron Davis (not my man at this point, I had been moved to shooting guard and was covering Eric Gordon at the time) got right to the damned rim for a layup. About 8 seconds to go, and we had one more shot. C.J. Watson got the pass, and I cut under the rim to get to a spot for a jumper and he hit me with a pass I wasn’t expecting. I promptly went to put it towards the rim and got stripped. We fouled them, but with 0.4 to go, we couldn’t foul fast enough on the next inbound to stop the clock. Game over.

I was at fault for us losing as far as offense goes, but our bigs let two uncontested layups at the basket decide the game (the one that put the Clips up prior to my jumpshot and Baron’s layup at the end). I’m so bitter right now.

StrongD

Stat-wise, I had a pretty good game. I had 16 points to lead our team on 4-9 shooting, I was 8-8 from the line and had a career high 3 blocked shots. I also had a rebound and two assists. As time goes on, I’m learning that I’m more of an Allen Iverson point guard then a John Stockton one. Whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing remains to be seen.

- Rick Daniel

Boston Beating

Hey, I’m back. We recently played two games against the Celtics; one at home and one in Bean-town. Here’s a couple pics from each.

thruboston1The first game  taught me that I could get to the rim at will against Boston. Rajon Rondo – who holds me allot, by the way – can’t stay in front of me when I cut sharply. This led to allot of (often missed) shots at the basket and some foul shots.

dunkonjonnealOh, and one memorable dunk. Duck and cover, Jermaine O’Neal! I finished the game with 8 points, two boards and three assists. Not my best game, since I shot 2-13. Damn.

dunkonkg Back in Boston I – sans headband and sporting a new ‘do – dunked over the Big Ticket on the first play of the game. Yes! I actually led us to an early lead, scoring the first three baskets and dishing out two assists to lead us to a 10-0 head start.

thruboston2 As before, Boston – and particularly Rajon Rondo (who was still grabbing and holding me on almost every play by the way) – could not  stay in front of me. I led the team with 14 points and five assists on 6-10 shooting. Yay! However, the game was decided on a play I had nothing to do with.

d12-kg1 Late in the game, down a basket with time running out, Dwight Howard falls down guarding Kevin Garnett, allowing him to get past him and…

d12-kg2…  get an easy dunk. That put them up two scores and closed our door to win. Actually, I eventually had a shot at  a three to win with less then 8 seconds left that I bricked badly, so I’m partially at fault, too – but it shouldn’t have come down to me at the buzzer.

Oh well, two more losses in the books. I think my playoff goal is way out of reach now.

- Rick Daniel

Drama Against NYK

shotd

My two latest games were big ones. We trampled the Atlanta Hawks by 20, after leading by only 1 at the half. I actually sat most of the fourth quarter, as did most of the starters. Unfortunately, I had three turnovers and shot 3-10. I had a bad night, but I atoned for it the next game.

layingoverwise I’m going to state this as fact: the Knicks guards could not stay in front of me. I got the rim at will this game, and either hit my shot or found a teammate. However, we were up one with under 30 seconds to go and the Knickerbockers were inbounding. This is where I began to become the game’s hero.

danielstealstheball “And Daniel steals it! Daniel stole the ball!!!”

Ok, it’s not Havlicek’s steal in the NBA Finals, but it was exciting. I stole the inbounds pass and got fouled immediately. The Knicks needed one more foul to send us to the stripe, and there was less then 25 seconds left. I caught the inbounds pass and outran the Knicks guards for about 10 seconds before passing it to Brevin Knight. He was fouled, but only hit 1 of 2. Dammit! They had a chance to tie or win on the last possession. I covered Rafer Alston perfectly and he had to pass out  of a jumpshot, lest I block it. Unfortunately, he found his fellow guard, a dude named Wise. He hit the tying jumper. God darn it! We had less the 3.5 seconds to avoid overtime with a score, and I wasn’t letting anyone but myself take the shot. My teammates had screwed up late-game situations way too many times. It was going to be my game to win.

Now I want to point out that I had missed jumpers to end the first and second quarters, and found Rashard Lewis for a three to end the third. In other words, I didn’t look like I was the best option. Anyway, the play started, and Lewis passed it to me. I took two steps to the rim from the three-point line, and pulled up.

thawinnerThe ball flew from my hands and settled in the bottom of the net. I did it, I won the game on a last-second shot!

I feel like celebrating now, so if you don’t mind, I’m ending this post here. Good night, all. See you next game.

- Rick Daniel

Quality over Quantity

BigTre

I had another poor shooting night, this time against the Nets, and it was my shooting that decided the game. Surprisingly, we didn’t lose because of it, rather I shot us to a win. Contradiction? Read on and decide.

We went down early by 10 to the Nets at home, but had climbed back to within six in the third. At one point we were down four but couldn’t get closer. I was shooting terrible  at this point – 0 for 6 from the field and 0 for 1 from deep – but I got spotted up for a clean three. I hit it, cutting the deficit to one. A few plays later, still down one, I hit another trey to put us up two.As time wound down, we would find ourselves tied in the last minute. We had just had two straight stagnant possessions and were in the midst of our third when I curled off of Kevin Love, who had the ball. He passed it to me in the corner and I hit a quick jumper with 14.5 left to put us up by a pair. After a good defensive stop, the Nets had to foul. Who did they foul? Me, of course. I hit one of two from the stripe to put us up three with 2.3 seconds to go. We ultimately withstood an Eduardo Najera three-point try to seal the win.

So after starting 0-6, I wound up 3-10 (I missed a late layup), and those three baskets were the difference. I also had two rebounds, two assists, a steal and a block. Not a terrible night, I’d say.

- Rick Daniel

Cavalier Revenge

strikingpastwilliams

shootinoermoe Game two against the Cavs was a totally different story from game one. In this game the Cavs (in Cleveland this time) built a 36-22 lead at halftime on the back of a good 2nd quarter by Delonte West.  In the third we cut it down to an 11-point deficit, but we were effectively out of it unless someone did something about it.

So I decided to do something about it.

I opted for a Michael Jordan mentality, that I was going to try and put the team on my back and win it for us. It would have worked, I believe, if we had any defense – the Cavs hardly missed a shot in the fourth quarter. Anyway, my #23-esque attack saw me get 8 of my sixteen points and two of my five assists in an attempt to lead us back. I also hit a big three to cut it to single digits, but we were unable to get any closer thanks to our porous ‘D.’ LeBron James in particular was dicing us up. He was the high-point man with 22. I played very well, and even got a “Gatorade Moment of the Game” highlight for my 4th quarter three. Take a look.

gatorademomentcavs

Yeah, I played well but we still lost. Ultimately Kevin Love could NOT stay with LeBron. That was our Achilles heal. Maybe next time, right?

- Rick Daniel

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