Monthly Archives: October 2010

Rick Daniel: Award Nominee?!

013-LuckyShot

I need answers, man… some things aren’t adding up. I’ll explain in a minute, I guess. First off, we just got walloped by the Rockets in Houston. I contributed two whole points to go with a rebound, two assists and two blocks in an 18 point loss. The biggest aggravator to me was getting a huge hit to my teammate rating because Kevin Martin hit a long nearly half-court, last shot clock-beating three. I had him pinned out there and he just got lucky – that’s my fault, how?

013-StepBack

We managed to come back against the Warriors at home. I didn’t play much better, with just five points, one rebound, four assists and two blocks plus a turnover, but a win’s a win. What happened after the game is what has me confused as hell.

013-What

Uh, I don’t get it. Either the rest of the league’s 6th men suck something fierce, or the people making these predictions aren’t actually following the games. 6.3 ppg, 1.4 rpg and 2.3 apg are Sixth Man of the Year numbers? Wow, the league’s really having a down year.

- Rick Daniel

Failure to Perform

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I just has a really bad run of games. In Phoenix I scored four points with six assists and no turnovers as we beat the Suns. My six assists tied LeBron for the team lead for the game. Unfortunately, this would be the high point of my recent games.

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I had a miserable game in L.A. against the Lakers. I scored just two points with one rebound, four assists and a block while committing three turnovers. That was just half of the story, though.

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Our coach had me guard Kobe almost the entire second half. He’d shift me around to keep me on Bryant, and it worked just about as well as you would imagine it would. I gave up 18 points to him in the third quarter alone! I mean, I know I had a bad game but the coach has to realize when something isn’t working to try another angle. I was too slow and too small to stop Kobe. D-Wade and LeBron just milled about as he lit me up. Seriously, Wade was standing around with Will Bynum while I had to struggle with Kobe. Am I the only one who thinks that was a bad combination? I’m usually a fundamentally sound defender but when I’m athletically out-classed like I was, it’s time to send help or bench me. On a related note, we lost the game.

012-Dfense

The next game was back home against the Knicks, and I scored eight points on 50% shooting with a rebound and two assists, committing no turnovers. Just like last time we played them Amar’e was red-hot, lighting up Bosh and LeBron to the tune of 35 points and 12 boards. I started studying him and occasionally double-teaming off of my man to help when he was making one of his incredibly obvious post moves. You can see me in the above picture  forcing him to pass out of a shot. What was Bosh doing, by the way? Leave your feet, man – challenge the shot! Come on, at least put a hand up!! This is why he scores so well against us: Bosh tends to play matador defense on him. We won this game, but it was close as the Knicks starters out-scored our bench players by five in the fourth quarter to make it a game. It was Udonis Haslem, Joel Anthony, James Jones, a dude named Beverley and myself against Stoudemire, Raymond Felton, Dino Gallinari and the rest of their starters, and Amar’e and crew just got a ton a second-chance points. Rebounding and interior defense are not our strong suits.

- Rick Daniel

The Wizards, the Mavericks, and My Myopia

011-AnotherLoss

We played the Wizards of Capital Hill the other day, and it was a really frustrating affair. We entered the 4th quarter up by seven, but were outscored in the final period by 14. We had absolutely no defense during the fourth quarter. I didn’t score well overall, with just three points to go with two rebounds and three assists, but I didn’t turn the ball over, either.

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The Mavericks would get the brunt of our frustrations. We took an early 17-8 lead after a 15-0 run in the first quarter and never looked back. I scored 10 points, including two first half three pointers. Yes! I’d been missing so bad recently that I was ready to stop shooting them. You know the type of shot I mean, the ones that look like they have a chance to kill a small child in the stands when the player shoots it, they’re so off course? That kind. In fact, look at my expression here in this next picture. I think it says it all.

011-CantSee

“Ok, I know the basket’s out there somewhere, I just can’t see it. Where did I put my glasses?”

I also contributed 2 rebounds and six assists against the Mavs, but turned he ball over twice. I’m currently averaging 6.6 points, 1.5 rebounds, and 2.0 assists per game this season. In the last six matchups, I’m averaging 9.8 points, 2.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists. I’m getting better as the year goes along.

In other news I’m looking at the polls on the side of the page, and I see that there’s no consensus yet on what player I should make, other than ‘big.’ As for the how I’m doing, we have one for ‘OK,’ one for “pretty bad,’ and one for ‘why isn’t he in the NBADL?’. I think that pretty much sums up my feelings so far, too. I’ll have an ok game, a pretty bad game, and then I’ll have a whale of a stinker. I tend to think of myself as the Andy Marte of the Miami Heat. For those of you who don’t follow the Cleveland Indians, he’s their struggling third baseman that they’ve tried to play for the last four years. He’s hitting under .225 for his career and can be a defensive nightmare at times (three errors in the first inning of one game this year), and yet they keep on playing him, even trading or demoting other, sometimes better players to find him time, hoping he’ll become something because he’ll occasionally show signs of promise. Personally, I’m convinced he’s some high ranking front-office big-wig’s personal pet project. Every time he starts I get frustrated at him being forced upon the fan base despite his lack of performance.  This comes back to me of course, with the Heat starting me rather then Carlos Arroyo while Wade was hurt and demoting Mario Calmers to the NBADL to find me playing time. I can only imagine how the fans feel about me by now.

- Rick Daniel

Smashed by the Knicks’ STAT Man

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Two more games down! In the first I set a career high in blocks with 4 in a win over the Cavs. I scored six points, had three rebounds and assists plus the aforementioned blocks. I finished the game was a teammate rating of A+. Nice!

010-LostAgain Our next game was in New York and we just didn’t have it this night. If you want to know how bad it was, I was selected as Player of the Half for the Heat, with 7 points, three rebounds an assist and a steal. I finished with 11 points, five boards, four assists and a steal (plus three turnovers), making me one of four Heat players to score in double-digits. The problem was that no one could check Amar’e Stoudemire. He lit us up with 26 points, seven rebounds two assist,two steals and a block. He was an absolute beast. My man scored eight points, but shot 3-12 because of my defense, so I did my part.

Oh well. There was no way we were cruising to the playoffs. Those other 29 teams are going to make us work for our spot in the post season, and y’know what?

That’s the way it ought to be.

- Rick Daniel

Rick Daniel Stings the Hornets

009-Ball

The Hornets rolled into town to greet us after our road trip. How nice of them! I started the game off red-hot, scoring 11 points in the first quarter. I finished the game with 18 points, 2 rebounds and four assists on 73% shooting with zero turnovers. Zero turnovers! I didn’t give the ball up once my whole 25 minutes I was on the floor (milestone!). Obviously, 18 points is my new career high, and I also led the team in scoring. Yay!

- Rick Danel

One Up and Two Way, Way Down

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Three more games down, and right now I’m furious – but I’ll get to why in a bit. First, we played Utah at their place and I went in knowing I was red-hot. I’d had a shooting drill prior to the game and couldn’t miss, so I was primed for a big game. What I didn’t expect was my defense to be as sound as it was. I didn’t’ get any blocks or steals but I was lock-down on my man and was a one-man fast break stopper on a few occasions. I changed a number of shots and tipped passes left and right.

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As for my offense, it did indeed show up.14 points to tie LeBron for the team lead, and four rebounds and an assist as well.  I also only had one turnover and a Teammate Rating of ‘A’. Nice!

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I truly don’t know what changed between that game and the next one against Golden State. I only scored four points with a rebound and three assists but I turned the damned ball over three times. We lost this game by seven, but the worst was yet to come.

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We got absolutely leveled in Sacramento. I scored 11 points on 50% shooting and had a board and an assist with only one turnover, but our team could not score and we lost by 23. My eleven points were second to Bosh’s 12 for the team lead! LeBron didn’t score a single point and Wade shot 3-11. Damn it all. I could have easily had five or six assists and we might have won the game if LeBron or Wade had made even half of the open shots I got them. I am livid at the moment.

How in the world do we go from that great game against Utah to horrendous against the Kings? How, I ask you??

- Rick Daniel

False Start

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Well the ‘why the Hell am I starting’ quandary has officially been solved. Yes, Chalmers is now a D-Leaguer, but the real reason was Wade’s injury. His knee was preventing him from playing the point like normal, so he slid to the two-guard and I became the point. How do I know this?

Because Wade is healthy again, and I’m back on the bench.

008-UpAndUndera

My first game back on the pine was against the Hawks.I scored nine points (five of them on free throws) and had two boards, an assist and a block, but I also committee four turnovers. The press grilled me about it after the game (as one would expect) so I answered professionally and owned up to the debacle, making my team and city proud of me. The national audience couldn’t care less.

008-Tip

The next game was an oddity. We were in Milwaukee and I had a ‘blah’ statistical night.I scored six points and had two assists and a steal but shot 2-7 from the field. My real contribution was as a teammate. I finished this game with my highest teammate rating ever – A-.

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We lost unfortunately .I guess being a good teammate doesn’t win games. Who knew?

008-J

I checked out our team stats after the game for fun, and I’m fourth on the team in both points per game and assists per game, albeit by a wide margin. I average 5.5 ppg, while Bosh (the guy ahead of me) averages 12.5. LeBron leads the team with 16.5, and Wade averages 12,7. For assists, LeBron leads that with 3.6 apg, and I trail him, Wade (3.2) and Mike Miller (3.1) with just 1.6. I’m third in steals with 0.5, trailing LeBron (1.7) and Wade (1.2). I’m not the worst on the team, but compared to the stars of the team, I’m junk. I do lead the team in turnovers per game though, with over one a game. Oops.

By the way, some dumbass (me) forgot to mention that I scored my 100th career point against the Cavs the other day.

- Rick Daniel

Rick Daniel, The Cavs and the NBADL

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We played my hometown Cleveland Cavs tonight. I again started, and again I didn’t play too bad.

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I scored 8 points, had one rebound, two assists, and a block with only one turnover. Yay! I played over 20 minutes for the second straight game and we won our 5th in a row.

I also found out why I’m the starter. For whatever reason Mario Chalmers is now a member of the Sioux Falls Skyforce of the NBADL. Someone decided to demote Chalmers instead of me, and to that person, I say  “thank you.”

- Rick Daniel

Wait, Who’s Starting?!

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Do you see what I see? Yes, that’s me on the court for the opening tip-off. No, no-one was out injured, either. Well, Wade was hurt pretty bad (his bum knee affected his play allot) but he still started. I’m the starting point guard now? Oh my. I guess being rated 50 is enough to get me a starting job on a championship contender. So, how did I do in my first start?

007-HoopAndHarm

I didn’t hurt us for the first two and a half quarters, but halfway through the third all Hell broke lose. I committed two consecutive turnovers and a foul that helped let the Pistons back in the game. I went to the bench soon after that, and when I came back in in the 4th, we were down by four. This was to be my shining moment. I was on the court with Ilgauskas, Bosh, Mike Miller and Udonis Haslim so two of our big three were benched. Miller’s usually solid and Bosh is often our leading scorer but they were both cold at this time. I ended up scoring 9 points in the quarter to spark a comeback. When Wade and LeBron came back in they helped seal the deal, and we won by seven. I finished the night with 16 points, a rebound and two steals with three turnovers on 7-8 shooting. Not bad for my first start (if you ignore the turnovers).

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And then there’s this. lol I got dunked on by Richard Hamilton early in the game. At this point I was kind of overly fired up, and this brought me back to Earth a little. Thanks, Rip!

- Rick Daniel

Trio of Triumphs

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A couple more games down, and a new milestone or two accomplished. Game one was a win over the Philadelphia 76ers. I had 4 points, 1 board and 4 assists this game, including the pass you see above to LBJ  for a slam. Not a great game, but not terrible either.

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The next game against the Mavs in Dallas was a poor effort by me. We won but I only scored 2 points with a rebound and an assist on 1-5 shooting. I just didn’t play well at all, and for that matter spent most of the game as a 5th wheel on the court, totally uninvolved in the action.

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The next game was against the Wizards at home, and I decide early on that I was going to be more aggressive. I ended up with 10 points, 4 rebounds, an assist and a block. Two of my points came on an alley-oop play.

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Mike Miller tossed me the ball at the rim and I laid that sucker right in. Yay! It was totally unplanned and completely unexpected, but it was cool. My first alley-oop score!

Another milestone was hit in the 4th quarter of the Wizards game. For whatever reason, our coach decided that since the game was locked up that I could be moved to small forward with 2:37 to go in the 4th. I didn’t have any particular issues with it and no one scored on me during this time, but it was funny. I know I’m kind of big for a point guard (6’2, 215 lbs) but I’m not that big. Maybe he’s taking ‘small’ forward a little too literally.

- Rick Daniel

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