Monthly Archives: August 2010

Two Wins and a Wall

023-DunkDET

I just had two mediocre games and one horrible one. Game one was a win against Detroit. I scored 24 points with 3 rebounds, 5 assists and three steals on 50% shooting. The next game was also OK, and came with some great pics.

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We beat the Raptors at home the next day. Here I scored 27 points with 7 assists and 2 steals on 63% shooting.

023-DunkTOR

Move it, Bosh, if you don’t want to be on Dunking on the Stars! Needless to say, he didn’t move fast enough. Overall it wasn’t a bad game, and I netted the Jordan Player of the Game award for my work. Here’s one more picture:

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I don’t have allot to add to this pic other then that I made that layup. Yes!

023-DriveMIA

I hit a massive wall against Miami. I shot under 50%, including a shocking 4-11 from deep. We needed me to score, and I shot well enough to keep us in the game but ultimately bad enough to cost us the win. I kept us in the game up to the last minute when I missed a go-ahead jumper from the free-throw line with 10 seconds to go. We fouled them to stop the clock and they only hit 1-2 from the stripe. We had a chance!

We had almost 4 seconds left so I caught the ball and ran hard to the basket. I laid it up in time but it rolled off the rim. Dammit!  I ended the game with 29 points, 4 boards, 4 dimes, 2 steals, a block and 4 turnovers. Yup, I cost us this game, big time. Cut down the turnovers and shoot a little better and we get the win against the best team in the East. Instead, we lose and show that we have a ways to go to be an elite team.

My biggest gripe is that this was the first time the announcers ever pointed me out as a “Key to the Game” at the start of the first quarter. I must have wanted to live up to that a little  too badly.

023-DamnWade

Of course, D-Wade was all but unstoppable, so that factors in, too. I guess this game and the one we played against the Cavs recently  shows that we aren’t as good as we think we are. We’ve been abusing under-achievers like Detroit, Toronto and Washington lately so that’s not exactly a real test. The amazing thing is that I’ve never seen as many tipped shots and passes as I did here. No pass or shot was uncontested on either side.

Now that’s playoff basketball. Only two games to go before the postseason!

- Rick Daniel

The Perfect Storm

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Warning: a prefect storm brewed up in the Washington, D.C. area tonight. Ingredient 1: a wave of frustration after my lackluster performance against the Pistons. Ingredient 2: a surge of confidence knowing we were facing the lowly Wizards. Ingredient 3: Absolutely zero fronting on behalf of the Wizards themselves. The result? I went off.

I had 17 points after the first quarter, and 25 points, eight assists after the first half. Two minutes into the third quarter, I had my elusive double-double. I wrapped up the game with 43 points, 11 assists and four steals on 75% shooting, including 3-4 from deep. I simply could not miss. Allot of my points came from the field, between mid-range and the three point line. I may never have a game like this again, so I made sure to enjoy it.

Defensively I was as solid as I’ve ever been. Gilbert Arenas scored one basket on me all game, a desperation heave of a three. He ended the game 1-12 with two turnovers.

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It wasn’t a really flashy game by me, but I was so hot no one could touch me. Here’s hoping I can remain a fraction as fired up as the season wraps up! We’ve got six games left and we end the year against those dastardly Cavs. Go Magic!

- Rick Daniel

Riding D12 To Victory

021-LayupDET

I just had a pretty off game against the Detroit. I scored 25 points (with 3 treys) and had 5 assists  but I was outplayed by Rodney Stuckey all game. We won in the end, though, thanks to a monster performance by Dwight Howard.

021-DunkDET

Of course, even in an off game I can get a poster for Dunking on the Stars. Today’s guest is Mr. Rip Hamilton! He looks so happy to be here, too.

Om another subject: I’ve done so well that I’m in the running for an award!

021-MIP I think this speaks for itself. I likely won’t win, but it’s an honor to be considered.

Lastly, we’ve officially locked up a playoff  spot. Now, it’s just up to deciding the seeding.

- Rick Daniel

Mo and LeBron Kill Our Confidence

021-DammitMo

We played the Cavs the other day, and this picture alone should tell you how things turned out. Yup, we lost finally and I have to take my share of the blame. I had 28 points in the first three quarters, but only four in the crucial fourth. My stat line read 32-1-8, which isn’t bad but it wasn’t enough.

021-DriveOnMo

As usual Mo Williams was a pain in the ass. He only scored 12 points but was a chore to score on. My recently reliable jump shot seems to have gone on vacation, too. LeBron led the Cavs with 23 points (ed: as a real-life Cavs fan, this was depressing as hell to play).

021-Boom

I did get a couple dunks in, though. Here’s one of them. Clear the runway!

… if only we’d won… *sigh*

- Rick Daniel

10 Game Win Streak

020-005

This picture of Vince Carter pretty much sums up our last month of games. Everybody’s confidence is sky-high right now because the whole team is clicking at the right time. Here’s a summary my last three games.

020-001

We played Philadelphia first, and I had 27 points, four assists and four steals. I also hit 3-4 on threes. This would be my last good shooting game recently.

020-002

Against the Pacers I scored 25 points, had 9 assists (again with the near double-double!) two steals and a block. I hit another three but I shot well under 50% in the game.

020-003

The Lakers came to town yesterday and gave us a serious scare. By halftime we were down 21 points. I wanted so bad to get switched to shooting guard so I could defend Kobe Bryant, not because I really wanted to go head-to-head with Bryant, but because Vince Carter just couldn’t stop him. To my surprise, the Lakers moved Kobe to the PG slot, so they purposely matched him up on me.  I matched Kobe nearly shot for shot, and depending on your perspective, I may have gotten the better of him. He scored 29 points, had 1 board, two assists and a steal while I had 28 points, 1 board, four assists, 3 steals and a block. I also had this shot;

020-004

The latest episode of Dunking on the Stars has Kobe on my latest poster. The best news is that – despite that 21 point halftime deficit – we won the game by four. This was in due no small part to my shutdown job on the Mamba. At one point I got up to him on a fast break and swatted his shot. Yes!

The big picture has us on a 10-game win streak, bringing our record to 43-31. We’re two games behind the Nets and only a half game ahead of the Hawks for the 4th seed. That’s right – we now qualify for first-round home court advantage. We only have 8 games left so this is the time to be peaking, and we are. Go Magic!

- Rick Daniel

Charlotte Scare

019-OnTheMove

We just barely squeaked out a win over the Charlotte Bobcats at home tonight. I had a terrible first three quarters, scoring 14 points on 6 for 14 shooting with two turnovers. When I came back in from a break to start the fourth, I immediately committed a charge to turn the ball over again. From that point on, though (under 5 minutes left in the game) I was nearly flawless. I scored 10 points on 3-5 shooting (4-4 on free throws to ice the game) and had two game changing plays. One was a big block.

019-Blockt
Russell Westbrook got behind me and nearly had a layup but I swatted him clean before grabbing the ball and heading up court. Later, with under 20 seconds to go and us up a basket, the Bobcats neglected to intentionally foul me so I just bolted up court and hit a short jumpshot to put us up by four. Oh, and I finally hit my milestone today. I’d not mentioned it much, but I’ve been sitting on 99 steals for about a week now. Finally though, I picked off a pass intended for Westbrook and got my milestone.

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A little personal history has been made, even if I did have an off game.

- Rick Daniel

Running Over the Bulls

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I had my biggest scoring game ever yesterday against the Bulls. I had 44 points to go with two boards and nine assists (again with the near miss on the double-double!). The reason why is that someone had to go off to match the performance of one Clifford Hale.

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The guy reminded me of another Bulls shooting guard with his play. He scored 37 points, allot of them in the third quarter when he and I went back-and-forth for eight minutes. He’d score, I’d score. He’d score… you get the idea. If I hadn’t been able to match him shot-for-shot (and, in the end, best him), we would have lost. We were down the whole game until the fourth quarter when we finally took the lead and won the game. Yes!

019-FiingeRollBuls

The big difference for me is that the Bulls removed Derrick Rose to start the fourth, and with his smothering defense off of me, I could roam free and run the offense with impunity.

One more thing of note is that we’re now 5th in the East and would play the Hawks if the playoffs stated today. We’re 2.5 games behind the Hawks for first-round home court advantage, and 6 for first in the East. With just over 10 games remaining, the top teams will have to lose and we’ll have to keep winning to move up more, but we play the Cavs (#1 in the East) two more times before the season’s over. That could either make or break our playoff hopes.

Oh, did I mention that we’re 6th in the power rankings? Yeah, we moved up from 17th last week to 6th. We were 4-0 in the last week and 11-4 in the last month. I’m psyched that we’re peaking at the right time. I’ve got to credit my teammates. They’ve been the difference. If they hadn’t gone from incompetent goofs to solid players, we’d be way out of the playoff race. Dwight Howard and Kevin Love have decided to protect the basket and rebound finally, and Rashard Lewis and Vince Carter are shooting well at last. Even some of our bench players – Marcin Gortat, Matt Barnes and DeShaun Stevenson in particular – are reliable subs. It lets me do what I need to do and not have to worry about doing everything myself. Thanks guys!

- Rick Daniel

Swatting the Bayou Bugs

018-BetterD

I crossed paths with Chris Paul the other day and we had one hell of a showdown. We about balanced each other out, stat-wise (27-1-6 for me, 24-2-7 for him), so it came down to the other starters. Fortunately, mine stepped up. Rashard Lewis chipped in 16, Vince had 15, Dwight added 11 and Love scored 5 for a total of 47  points for the other four starters.CP3 only got 37 from his fellow starters. In short, we win!

And now back to everyone’s favorite series, Dunking on the Stars.

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This was AWESOME. I wish I had it on video! Of course, for every highlight, I net a blooper. Here’s one for posterity.

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Yes, that’s my idea of defense some days. No wonder I get lit up so often!

- Rick Daniel

40! Rick Scores 40!

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Two more games in the books! Recently I had a bad game against the Knicks where I spent most of the 2nd and 3rd quarters on the bench with foul trouble. Everything I did was called a foul! It was very irritating. We still won, mind you, and I had 23 points, but it was frustrating nonetheless.

018-CrossoverCal

Game two was against the Raptors in Toronto, and I totally went off. I guess I was ticked off from the last game because it became a matter of ‘score until they stop me,’ which they never did. Once the fourth quarter rolled around I saw I had a shot at 40 points, so I opted to go for it. Late in the game I had 38 points and we were under 20 seconds to go, so I caught a pass on the right wing, made a move to shake Jose Calderon (not a hard task) and pulled up.

018-40

I hit it and reached a new milestone in my career. 100-70 ended up being the final score, too. Yes! Oh, and I have apparently somehow found the Fount of Three-Point Marksmanship. In the recent Detroit game, I hit three treys, and tonight I hit two more – one on a launch from the center court logo to beat the half-time buzzer after Calderon made me mad by hitting a three over me with 4.9 seconds to go. Revenge is sweet sometimes.

And now, for the latest chapter of Dunking on the Stars!

018-FlightNo21Bosh just couldn’t get out of the way. Calderon was also in on the act. I reached the rank of ‘Athletic Guard’ dunking a week or so ago, so that’s why the dunks have become more prevalent (flashier, too).

There are now 15 games left in the regular season and we’re still 7th seed in the East. We have a tough road to the end, though, playing allot of playoff-bound teams. This should be interesting.

- Rick Daniel

Lighting up Detroit

017-DirectTraffic I was red hot the other day against the Detroit Pistons. I lit them up to the tune of 32 points in the first half. I also had 2 boards and 2 assists at intermission. After the mid-point, I tried to be more of a play maker, racking up only 6 points but 7 assists in the second half (putting me 1 shy of a double-double). We obviously whooped the Pistons.

017-CutPiston Rodney Stuckey could not stay in front of me, resulting in pictures like the following:

017-BringingTheThunderClear the runway! I shocked myself with this one – I’ve never pulled off a dunk like this before in my whole career.

In any case, we’re still 7th in the East, and playoff bound.

- Rick Daniel

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