Monthly Archives: February 2011

Daniel, Representing

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After that solid performance in a loss to the 1-4 Magic I wasn’t sure what to expect against the #1 Atlanta Hawks. What I got was an up and down game that ended with a question mark.

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Slow Start Equals Doom

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I’m back after my less then stellar performance against New Jersey for the second night of a back-to-back. Hopefully this is going to be an easy opponent for me to get back into a groove against. Rhe schedule maker wouldn’t give us a tough game this early, would they?

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Dammit. Just… dammit. I don’t care if they’re 1-4 on the year. They’re the freaking World Champions. And my bane.

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Don’t Question the King

First things first: I hope no one minds that I’m going to start splitting these posts so the pages themselves load faster for everyone. If it’s a big issue, let me know. Now, for my latest game.

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Coach Spoelstra trying to get us fired up before our game against the Nets. I don’t want to give the ending away or anything, but look at the players behind him to see how well it’s working.

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Magic James

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I was back in action tonight against the Portland Trailblazers. I got off to a hot start with 8 points, 2 assists and 2 rebounds on 80% shooting in the 1st quarter. Not bad. However, we had a slight issue with Brandon Roy.

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Exactly how many people does it take to stop him?

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I mean, seriously. He was hitting over some serious defense. Plus me.

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I closed the book on the third quarter with a clutch J. We were up 62-56, but it wouldn’t be all rosy for long. The Blazers cut into our lead and  even got ahead of us in the 4th.

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One of the reasons is seen here. I know I harp on LeBron allot and it may sound like RL Cav fan angst, but it’s not. He’s ice cold right now, and is shooting terrible. He’s also getting to the hole at will. Put two and two together and you see that he should stop shooting from the perimeter and either pass it off or take the ball to the rack. He’s been successful at both endeavors this year, so why not use them?

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We got the lead back on some tough baskets. As time was winding down, I evaded Andre Miller, who wanted to intentionally foul me, and got to the basket for a layup. Yes!

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Thanks to some good free throw shooting by me, we won the game. I finished with 28 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 steal and only two turnovers on 61% shooting. LeBron had 15 points to go with 6 rebounds and eight assists with zero turnovers. See? He should be passing the ball since he’s so good at it. Next Magic, here he comes (if he’ll listen to me, that is). I actually added a new wrinkle into my game tonight.

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It’s not that I couldn’t pull off a behind-the-back dribble before, but I went to the gym and honed my skill at it, and it seems to be paying off. I’m currently second on the team in scoring at 18.5 per game (Wade’s #1 with 20), first in assists with 4.7 (LeBron’s next with 4) and second in rebounds with 6.8 (Bosh leads with 7.8). I’m also 9th in the league, scoring-wise, ahead of such luminaries as Amar’e Stoudemire, Deron Williams and Manu Ginobli. Not bad for a second-year player.

Back and Gunning

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And just like that, I’m back in the game. After shooting a big fat zero from the field last game I was determined to get involved in our next match against the 76ers. When I took my first break midway through the 2nd quarter, I had 12 points, 1 rebound and 3 assists on 57% shooting (2 of 3 from deep). Sadly, that was the end of my offense for quite a stretch.

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I didn’t score again until the last 30 seconds of the 3rd quarter, partially because the LeBron and Wade dominated the ball, but mostly because everything I was doing was just a fraction off. I was missing on my picks, my defense was a step slow, and I was committing fouls more then normal.

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Ok, some of the fouls were more like muggings, but who’s counting? I finally hit a three with 29 seconds left in the third, and got one more shot before the period finished.

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It was money. I now had 18 points, with 12 of them coming in the 1st quarter. With LeBron, Wade, Bosh, Ilgauskas, Mike Miller, Haslem and everyone else the fans might actually recognize on the bench, it was me and the Bench Bunch to bring the game in safely for a win.

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I think this picture tells you how it all went down. We won by 36 and I played well when I was the focal point, scoring seven points in the final quarter. I finished with 25 points, six rebounds, five assists, and only one turnover on 43% shooting, including 5 treys. I also won Player of the Game.

Now I feel better.

- Rick Daniel

Blanked?!

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Wait, who the hell is this imposter? Who dressed up like me to play in our game against the Bobcats? It couldn’t be me, because I don’t go 0-7 from the floor with 3 points!

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Actually, I do when I get frozen out of the offense, completely denying me any chance to get into a rhythm. Every play down court was the same: I was sent to the corner while LeBron went one-on-one with his man. In case you’re wondering, yes that is a recipe for a loss. I added 6 rebounds and 3 assists but turned the ball over twice by being a butterfingers and fumbling the stupid thing. I didn’t ever fumble the ball last year. What’s wrong with me this season? I cost us our last game by not being able to hold onto the ball.

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This shot says it all. Chalmers is telling me to get back on the bench while I hide from the facts. For whatever reason, I had a horrible game.Let’s hope that it doesn’t carry over.

- Rick Daniel

Welcome to Opening Night

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Gametime, game one of the 2011-12 season. I came in with a new look and ready as hell to face the Wizards at home in Miami.

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After a blistering first quarter that saw me net 9 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists before taking a seat, I came back off the bench midway through the 2nd and hooked up with Dwyane Wade for an alley-oop.

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Hey, I didn’t say who caught the lob, did I?

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I love this screenshot! I can almost hear the Unreal Tournament announcer now: “Godlike!”

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Score! The game labeled this a ‘dunk’ I my post-game report. Right.

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I was torrid I that first half and had us clicking on all cylinders. And then the 2nd half started. The Wizards got hot, we went cold, and found ourselves down in a hurry.

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I went a little cold, but the problem was made worse by them letting Mario Chalmers handle the ball and putting me at shooting guard most of the second half. Chalmers would not pass me the ball, under any circumstances. I think he’s mad I got his starting job.

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Wade tried to get us back in the game late, hitting a few threes off dishes from me and slamming back a Chris Bosh miss. However, he and I share the credit for how the game wrapped up. We were down three with 30 seconds or so left in the game. Wade had the ball on the left wing so I cut around him to the basket. He bounced me the ball…

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… and I bumped John Wall before securing it and let it roll out of bounds. After an intentional foul and two made freebies, we were down 5. Wade was to inbound the ball, but apparently nobody told him.

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The stupid ass stood there and just took a 5-second inbound penalty! What the heck?! I don’t care if you have to lob it full court: you can’t take that penalty. Game over.

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I finished the game with 18 points, 9 rebounds and 7 assists, but three turnovers I hit 2-6 threes, but one of those was a desperation heave at the end of the game. Wade also scored 18 and added 4 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals, 2 blocks but four turnovers. LeBron added 13-2-2-2, but Bosh may as well have stayed home. I’m amazed at how we fell apart so quickly after that quick start. Man, I hope this isn’t a bad omen.

- Rick Daniel

Preparing for the Season

So now that I’ve made my design to stay put, it’s time to see what’s what and who’s where.

Shaquille O’Neal retired and made the Hall of Fame over the offseason, which I thought was impossible to do in one year. As for the Heat, we’re mostly the same as last year, with some young new additions. Our new center is a 7’3”, 281 rookie named Jon Francis. He’s rated 68, which makes him our best big man. Heaven help us. Backing him up is Big Z, Zydrunas Ilgauskas, whose rating dropped to 64 (he said he wanted out, but he’s still here I guess) and Joel Anthony.

At power forward we’ve got a logjam with Chris Bosh, Udonis Haslem, Charles Smith, Kurt Thomas and Edjuardo Najera.  LeBron is our only small forward. Yup, we’re a nicely balanced team.

Dwyane Wade and Mike Miller are our shooting guards. Although I’m supposed to be our starter, I’m technically our second-rated point guard at 71 (behind Mario Chalmers at 74) with Patrick Beverley back for another year and another rookie, one Darin Teague, who kind of reminds me of me last year with his skills (or lack thereof).

I checked the power rankings and was shocked. We’re third. Third! We’re behind the Bulls and the Thunder, in that order. What on earth did the Bulls do this offseason? Unfortunately, there’s on way for me to find out right now. Next behind us are the T-Wolves, while the world champion Magic, who I almost signed with, are 6th.

Time to start the season!

My Decision

It’s time. I’ve got to make my decision as to what to do. I’ve got to make my decision, hopefully without an hour long PR stint. Before that, let’s cover how last season ended.

We got bumped by the Magic in the Eastern Conference Finals by a free throw free for all. The good news, then, is that the Magic did go on to beat the Lakers in the NBA Finals. So we lost to the eventual champions. That’s a little more tolerable I finished the series as the team’s starting point guard and averaged over 20 points a game in the post season to go with four assists and four and a half rebounds. Who would come looking for me? The poll on this site (as well as posted on my topic over at the  NBA Live Series Center) brought a varied response. There was sentiment that I should stay and help LeBron, Bosh and Wade again. The blog’s poll shows that 75% of the voter think I should go to the Cavs if the option arises. Lastly, it would be interesting to see how I handled a team without three all stars. So, who came calling?

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The Rockets, the Warriors, the Magic and the Heat. So, the Cavs are out, since they didn’t even make an offer. Now to decide between these three. I could go to the Warriors and play with Steph Curry and Monta Ellis and make for an exciting back court. Do I really want to play for the Warriors, though? I don’t see allot of growth potential there personally, plus they’d be playing three guards all the time with Ellis, Curry and myself. So they’re out. The Rockets are also out since I don’t want to go watch Yao get hurt again and get carried off the court, our title chances in tow.

That leaves the Magic and the Heat. The Heat are my team right now. I just spent 82 games with them, they’ve got two dynamite scorers for me to feed in LeBron and Wade, and we nearly got to the NBA Finals. On the other hand, the Magic beat us in the playoffs and they won the NBA Finals. They’ve got a dominant center, which we lacked last year. On top of that, I’ve had success with them before (see last year).

So, last year’s team or the team that beat us. Theoretically, the team that beat us is better, right? Isn’t that how it works? Can I really pull a LeBron and bolt for greener pastures?

Read after the cut to find out.

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What Should I Do?

I’ve posted the poll for the future of Rick Daniel on the sidebar. It will last until Monday afternoon, so vote soon!

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