Monthly Archives: November 2010

King Me

022-JoverKings

My first game after winning MVP in the rookie/sophomore game was against the Kings in Miami. We actually spent a large portion of the game playing from behind because LeBron and Wade kept trying to do everything themselves – despite evidence that it wasn’t working. I was shooting well early so I took it upon myself to win the game. I finished with a new career-high 25 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals, a block and a turnover on 60% shooting, including hitting two free throws to ice the game. After the game I finally got recognized for my recent success.

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Now I’ve just got to keep up my good play, or all this success I’ve built up will be gone.

- Rick Daniel

Fouling Out is Actually a Scam

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Three more games are in the books. First we played the Pacers in Indiana., where I was one of four scorers in double figures (Bosh had 18, LeBron 17 and Mike Miller and I each had 14). I chipped in 5 rebounds, 4 assists, a steal and a block in a win.

021-BumShot

Our next game was against Toronto at their place. My first basket is seen here, a basket I hit as I fell on my hind end. I scored 17 points, 3 boards, an assist and a block. I witnessed an interesting event this game, as Jarrett Jack fouled out late in the fourth quarter but remained on the court for the remainder on the game. Uh, what? That made no sense, but we won so I didn’t get too concerned.

021-RookStarter

The Rookie-Sophomore game was next, and I got to start. Why, I don’t know. Apparently I supplanted John Wall in the starting five. I decided I was as good as any player out there, and I wasn’t going to settle for anything less then Player of the Game.

021-Rook1

I managed to score 18 points with 6 rebounds, 2 assists. 2 steals, a block and two turnovers to get that Player of the Game award I wanted. What was amazing  though, was Greg Monroe. Not satisfied with pulling a Jarrett Jack and playing after fouling out, he actually fouled out twice. Read that again. He finished with 7 fouls, which  I would have previously sworn was impossible  Apparently ‘fouling out’ is not as dire as I would have thought. I guess the rule goes, “if you foul out, it would be nice if you left the court. If you don’t want to though, don’t worry about it.”

My stats for the first half of the year were 7.9 ppg, 2.1 rpg and 2.8 apg. Now I’m off to the second half of the season. I’ll check in once I get some more games in.

- Rick Daniel

The Blowup in Boston

020-Hedshot

After my last game, where I was shooting really well but got cut off from the ball in the 2nd half I assumed it would be a one-time spell. The Celtics now wish that it had been.

020-OerKG

I had 14 point by midway through the 3rd quarter, which emboldened me to go for 20. I finished the game with 21 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, a steal and 3 blocked shots (but three turnovers). I sat the last 25 seconds of the game before being awarded the Player of the Game honor. A few things stand out for me from this game, one being that LeBron may as well have stayed home. He was fairly uninvolved in the game and didn’t shoot much at all. The second observation was that, unlike last game, I was given the ball and set loose time and again. Often I’d be playing shooting guard with D-Wade at the point so I’d give it to him coming up the court, and he’d pass it back before clearing out. It was cool to basically run the game from start to finish but I don’t think there’s any way I can keep that up for the last 20+ games (yup, we’ve already played over 50 games this year). I like the above picture because Garnett had switched out on me, so  crossed one way, then the other and finally stepped back to get the shot off with plenty of room

I think the whole game was built around soothing my bruised ego, to be honest. With LeBron taking a back seat this game, it was the opposite of the last one. Also, I scored 21 points with 6 boards and 4 assists, but Wade had 22 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists, but he had a third of the turnovers I did – and he shot better, too. The only place I honestly trumped him was on defense, where I had 3 blocks and a steal while he put up goose eggs in both categories.  I truly don’t know how I got Player of the Game over him, unless it was a make-up call kind of deal.

Aw, who cares. I got it, and I’m feeling good about my game finally. Let’s make a run before the All-Star break!

- Rick Daniel

Back Up to Speed

019-Hobble

I apparently misjudged my recovery speed, because I took my limp to the court to play the Pacers. This was a frustrating game because we didn’t play real well, but neither did Indiana. The difference was Danny Granger, who lit us up for 29 points. I had 8 points, 6 boards, 4 assists and a turnover in the loss.

019-JPis

I was finally back to speed when we arrived in Detroit to face the Pistons. I hit all four jump shots I took in the first half for 10 points and was really feeling confident. I led us in scoring at the half, but apparently that pissed off the team’s Alpha Dogs, LeBron and Wade. I was frozen out of the offense almost the entire second half! I touched the ball only on short passes and was never given an opportunity to score. One of Those Two would bring the ball up and quickly shoot it, resulting in a score or the Pistons getting a rebound. I only got to handle the ball and take two more shots at the basket in last minute of the game, and that was just because Those Two  were on the bench, relaxing. Oh, and the two shots I did take? I hit ‘em both. I finished with 14 points but could have easily cleared 20 if I’d been allowed to just touch the ball in the 2nd half. I also had 4 rebounds and 2 assists with no turnovers. Those Two each took just one more shot then I did and scored 19 (Wade) and 17 (LeBron) to just beat me there, too. I hope their egos feel better now.

The big news, post-game was that I made the Rookie Team all-star squad as a reserve. That almost made up for having my possible career night short circuited by my own selfish teammates.

Actually, not really.

- Rick Daniel

Rick and the Ankle-Breaker

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We played the Bobcats in Charlotte recently, beating them by five. I scored 10 points with four rebounds and two assists with a turnover. It was a rather unexciting game to be honest, but the next one was… interesting.

019-Ouch

We were playing the Clippers at home when I had a spill. You know how a good crossover can supposedly break someone’s ankle? My first defensive play saw that hit almost too close to home  Baron Davis shook me off and I hit the ground, only to get taken out of the game with a bum wheel. My ankle wasn’t broken, but ‘twisted’ was bad enough. I lumbered up and down the court for 26 minutes though, only occasionally getting criticized for being too slow up and down the court.

019-J

For being as immobile as I was I put together a solid game. I finished with  9 points, 5 boards, 4 assists and 2 steals with 2 turnovers in the aforementioned 26 minutes. LeBron and Wade combined for 45 points (21 and 25, respectively) so we won the game. We were actually tied with under a minute to go when I deterred a Baron Davis shot by rotating over off of Tracy McGrady as the shot clock wound down (Good Shot Defense credit to me). He tried to pass out of the shot but it went out of bounds. I actually spent some of the third quarter out of position, by which I mean I was stuck at small forward. Mind you, I was guarding T-Mac so it wasn’t really a mismatch (I’d been shadowing him at shooting guard since the ankle injury) but the concept was odd.

The injury could be healed by sitting for one day or playing through it for two, so I decided not to bother sitting. Bring on our next foes!

- Rick Daniel

Rick Gets Blanked

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Three more games, and one of them was the worst I’ve ever played – but we’ll get to that. First of all, my starting stint lasted all of that one game against the Pistons. Anyway, we played the Thunder at their place. I finished the win with 8 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists a block and turnover. The difference in the game was Dwyane Wade, who exploded for 36 points.

018-MyBack

I was ready to quit playing after a recent Cavs game. I finished with no points or boards, one assist and four turnovers. I was furious! Every time I passed the ball someone picked it off, and I couldn’t score for the life me. On a related note we lost the game.

018-BB1

We next played the Magic in Orlando. I would have been scoreless in the first quarter if I hadn’t hit a three to end the first quarter.  I further would have finished the first half with just those three if I hadn’t subsequently beaten the first half buzzer as well.

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I finally got hot in the third quarter, scoring eight points that period and earning the Sprite Spark Award to start the fourth quarter. We got outscored by 11 in the fourth (most of which I spent on the bench) but still won by eight, thanks in large part to the 18-4 third quarter I sparked. I wound up with 13 points, four assists, 1 steal and a turnover.

I hope that the Cavs game was an abomination, but only time will tell.

- Rick Daniel

Back in the Starting Five

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Our recent win over the Knicks at Madison Square Garden had me conflicted. I set a new career high in rebounds with 6 but shot like Hell. Here’s a three I hit, but that’s about my bright spot.  I finished with 8 points, 6 boards, three assists, a steal, a block and a turnover on 3-8 shooting (2-2 from deep).

017-Hmph

Bosh got hurt during the game, but we could likely have won if I’d been there or not. The above pic is summarizes how I felt after the game. Afterwards, you’ll never guess who came back to town. No, go ahead. Guess. It was Mario Chalmers, who the Heat recalled from the Skyforce of the NBADL. I figured the next game would be an indicator for the future of my career one way or another. I arrived at the arena to face the Pistons, got on to the court and… wait, what?

017-Start

Ok, now I’m confused. Bosh is hurt but not out, so that’s good. How am I starting though? Wade’s not hurt, Mike Miler’s not hurt, and neither is anyone else. We even  have an extra point guard now. Whatever. I’m going to take advantage of this!

017-Dime

I had only two points at halftime, but four assists and four rebounds. I finished the game with seven points, nine rebounds and six assists. Yay! I shot even worse then last game (3-11, 1-6 from deep) but I controlled the offense was a wall on defense, and we won the game. One interesting fact is that five of my nine boards were of offensive variety. I didn’t turn the ball over and my man – whoever I was on at the time – was a non-factor. Hopefully I can build on this and keep this job.

I only have one regret: not getting that 10th rebound. I had it, I HAD IT, with under a minute to go, and LeBron took it from me. Jerk.

I bet he takes candy from babies, too.

- Rick Daniel

Heat Lose Heart

016-WeLost

My team quit recently in a game against Atlanta. My whole team just rolled over and died! I even quit trying during that game, that’s how bad it was. My teammates were walking out of bounds, passing out of bounds, shooting long-range threes that came nowhere near the rim and just not trying on defense. I finished with four points, one rebound, one assist but no turnovers. It was frustrating as Hell because I couldn’t make a shot to save my life. We ultimately had a two point lead with eight seconds to go, but Joe Johnson hit a three over Dwyane Wade to beat us. I had no part in that play, which left me feeling helpless.

016-LayUp

The next game was also a loss, this one against Toronto. I had 12 points with four assists and again, no turnovers. I also hit 60% of my shots so I was very efficient to boot. Really, my team played terrible and the Raptors got about a half dozen blocks on us, most of them NOT on me. LeBron was the only player other then myself who tried. scoring 29 points with six points and assists on almost 70% shooting. Nobody outside of the two of us hit more then two shots the whole game (Wade was 2-10, Bosh 2-6 and Haslem 2-5, rounding out our top 5 scorers). At this rate we’re going to be in trouble come the playoffs.

If we last that long.

- Rick Daniel

Art of the Knockout

015-PostShot

A recent win against Denver was very frustrating. I shot like Hell this game despite scoring 11 points. It could have easily been over 20 if I’d hit half of the open looks I’d had. Worse yet is that I got my shot blocked down low four times this game. Why? I have no idea. I just cannot get a shot up at the rim! I also contributed five rebounds and assists, but don’t let the stat line fool you: I sucked.

015-RunningRose

Our next game was a victory over the Bulls in Chicago. I shot better but still got blocked at the basket twice. I finished with 11 points, 4 rebounds, 5 assists, a block, three turnovers and one take-down. What’s a take down? Look at this pic.

015-Crash

I really do feel bad about wiping out that poor floor mopper, but it made for a great picture. He’s just standing there, waiting for his chance to put mop to floor and fulfill his life’s destiny, and here I come with a right cross to the jaw. I mean, seriously… WTF?

- Rick Daniel

Now an All-Time Great? WTF!?

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Every time I think I’m beyond being shocked by a reporter’s question, one of them ups the ante. This time it was after a 10-point win over the Clippers in LA. I had a decent game with 12 points, three boards, three assists and a block, but some insane interrogator asked me the following question after the game:

“Now that you’ve arrived, what all-time great do you think you most resemble?”

Say wha…? I just had four pretty good games – not great, just pretty good – and I’m averaging under seven points a contest, but now I’m in the conversation about all-time greats? Someone needs to give the media a time out or something. Seriously folks, put down the pipe. On the other hand, out of the current crop of rookies, I’m fifth in scoring and second in assists. So maybe I’m not as bad as I think I am.

Or maybe this year’s rookie class just sucks.

- Rick Daniel

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