Post-game Reactions

The fine writers here at the CelticsHub have already done a masterful job breaking down All-Star weekend.  But given the theme of my weekly entry I must weigh in as well.  I’ll start from Friday’s festivities and go up thru last night’s defensive struggle in the actual game.

Friday: Celeb Game.  I will not mention the young boy who was voted MVP.  I will however question how Michael Rapaport is still a celebrity.  He was in one of my five favorite movies of all time, True Romance, which came out in 1993!  Since then, he’s been in a lot of gems, 95% of things you’ve never heard of.  But be sure to check him out in the current (?) TV show Pound Puppies.  How many people were offered a spot in this game before they got to him, or does he get an automatic invite considering he’s never missed a celeb game?

It was good to see Scottie Pippen getting after it.  I am a big Pippen guy, and clearly he still has the fire.

Rookie-Sophomore Game: I was shocked.  Rookies for the 2nd year in a row?  I know they had Blake Griffin and John Wall, but the Sophs had won 8 of the 11.  The Wall oop to Griffin made the whole game worth while. How about James Harden, who was a late addition for the banged up Tyreke Evans, dropping a smooth 30 including a monster throw down?  DeMarcus Cousins went for 33-14.  I really should have considered the chemistry between Wall and Cousins before making a “friendly” wager.  At least the over hit.

Saturday Night: Shooting Stars again?  Come on.  I don’t know what the worst part is.  The NBA stuffing the WNBA down our throats.  The retired player wearing a current jersey and looking sadly out of shape.  Watching three people take turns missing a half court shot.  Or the WNBA.  Just get rid of this.  I was on board for HORSE when they did that, it wasn’t good, but it made Shooting Stars look like a 1980’s Dunk Contest.

Skills Challenge: Great lineup.  Chris Paul, Stephen Curry (who was my pick), Russell Westbrook, Derrick Rose, and John Wall.  They clearly don’t give a crap about it, but I still like it.  It’s a solid obstacle course and shows off some different things.  Passing through tires?  Yes please.  Of course this is coming from a guy who will be watching hours of the NFL Combine coming up.

3-Point Shootout: I had Pierce, thought he would rise to the challenge and overcome the LA crowd.  He seemed surprised by the boos.  I understand he is from Inglewood, but you were the Finals MVP beating the Lakers less than 3 years ago.  It’s not going to be a friendly atmosphere.  Pierce should have gone from rack to rack in a wheel chair then given the finger the Staples Center.  But he probably handled it better.

Despite not winning, there is no shame in the efforts put forth by Ray Allen and Pierce.  The same can not be said for Boobie Gibson and Kevin Durant.  Why was their a Cavalier allowed at All-Star weekend?  Did we get an answer on that yet?  No one else would shoot 3’s?

Dunk Contest:  Very solid.  NBA TV recently aired an NBA Slam Dunk Contest Marathon, airing every single Dunk Contest in order from 1984 to now.  Needless to say, I got nothing done that day.  (Side note: best part may have been the guys who didn’t win and maybe you forgot about like Stacey Augmon, Larry Johnson, Shawn Kemp, Ray Allen, Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf, Kendall Gill, and the fact that Clyde Drexler was in it 5 times and never won.)

Fair criticisms about the event this year: only 1 star player/ guy casual fans have heard of, lots of gimmicks, the coaches, and the number of times it took most dunks to be completed.

I didn’t hate the coaches, but can understand those who found them annoying.  I also thought the lineup was fine.  Sorry people. LeBron is not going to do it, Kobe isn’t coming back, and I think Vince Carter has disappeared in the Arizona desert.  Michael Jordan was in it 3 times with his last being in 1988 (3 years before he won the title).  It’s easy to look back and say all the stars used to do it, which is really part true.  Yes Jordan was an All-Star and scoring leader, but he had not yet become a champion and owner of best player on the planet distinction.

If you just saw the completed dunks from this year’s contest, it was as good, if not BETTER, than any other.  I do believe that the number of attempts hurts the WOW factor, and that is my biggest criticism of this year’s event.  In 2000 did Vince have any re-dos?  I don’t think so.  In the same event, in fact, I remember Steve Francis picking himself off the floor at one end of the court; kinda stretch his legs while dribbling toward half court then just tossing a crazy high pass down court, letting it bounce before catching it and throwing down a sick reverse dunk.  It looked like he just woke up and then he brought the place down.  It was nuts.  No do-over needed.

I loved both of DeMar DeRozen’s dunks, although the number of attempts and likely Darryl Dawkins, hurt his chances.  Serge Ibaka did a TRUE free throw line dunk, which no one seemed to care about.  JaVale McGee did something I have never seen (also one that is hard to practice for you 7 footers with bounce out there.)  Blake won, and that’s fine with me.  I wonder what he was really going to do on the Kia dunk as Kenny Smith did say the pass from Baron Davis wasn’t where it was supposed to be.  Maybe we’ll find out next year…

(Ideal 2012 Dunk Contest: Blake Griffin, LeBron James, JaVale McGee, Dwight Howard, Russell Westbrook, Monta Ellis… that’s right, going back to six.)

Sunday All-Star Game: A record night.  Kobe Bryant went for 37 and 14 to win his 4th MVP (tying a record) as the West beat the East 148-143.  LeBron James slapped up just the game’s 2nd triple-double (only Jordan had done it previously).  It was a typical All-Star game other than that, long outlet passes, dunks, oops, open shots, tons of points, then about 2-3 minutes of “this is gonna be a game” at the end.

The four Celtics combined for just 28 points off the bench led by Ray Allen’s 12.  More importantly Doc Rivers made sure to rest his guys.  Kevin Garnett played a game-low 8 minutes, Paul Pierce just 11, Allen 17, Rajon Rondo 21.

All and all, it was a successful and enjoyable All-Star weekend, the best of all the four major sports.  Now it’s time to turn our attention to the second half… well final quarter of the season.

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Rich Keefe

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  • Great post, but screw putting Dwight in another dunk contest. He's as boring as Nate. Oh lets do a big jump and dunk it wowwww. Boring as hell. At least there was some creativity this year.

  • Rich Keefe

    Good point… I think Dwight would help the name value, but as a whole I'm not a huge fan of centers in the dunk, which was why McGee really surprised me.

  • moshe

    mcgee should have won

    • Batman

      I think DeMar should have won but McGee is a very close second
      Blake won through reputation

      • Batman

        I got a thumbs down for sharing my opinion? 🙁

        • Chris O

          Haha, it was neutral by the time I got here but I gave you a thumbs down on your first comment (just to make your 2nd comment valid again) and then gave a thumbs up to your second bcuz you shouldn't have gotten a thumbs down lol

      • Chris O

        Agreed Blake won on reputation, McGee and DeRozan's baseline dunks were absolutely amazing in slow-mo. Ibaka's dunks were impressive as well

    • Razah

      No doubt, McGee was the winner for me. That 3 ball dunk he did…..consider this. He's 7ft…….for a 7fter to get up off the ground and dunk 3 balls while in mid air is phenomenal. You know he's got a crazy vertical..

  • yoyojovan

    I'm a freshman at USC majoring in print journalism, NBA writing in particular. Check out the highlights and lowlights from All-Star Weekend. http://www.neontommy.com/news/2011/02/highlights-

  • Zee

    Blake won on difficulty. You can only jump over a car correctly once. If not, you could end your career. I jumped head first, so it was a must he make the dunk or risk injury. Folks don't consider that. All other dunks could have "do overs." His last one? Not so much. Consider that folks. 😉

  • Batman

    The car dunk was weak cause he barely jumped over the car. He jumped over the hood, which isn't as impressive

  • lakershater13

    Chris when was the last time you jumped over a car? I actually expected more from Blake but he still put on a good show. Ibaka had the most impressive dunk. Dr. J and MJ both took off inside the free throw line. Ibaka had his toe behind it. That should have been a 50. No way Ibaka jumps over a car from the free throw line. You dont jump long distance over objects.

    • Jeremy

      Ibaka was robbed. He did it on his first go too. No re-dos or anything. A legit FT dunk. He should have at least been allowed to get to the final stages. Blake may have had a nice flashy car dunk but his first two that got him into the finals weren't all that great.

    • Chris O

      Last time was 3 years ago, since I am now 28, with bad knees I don't think I can do it anymore. If you can hurdle or have even a low to mid 30 inch vertical, you can jump a car. The Ibaka over the car from the free throw line is called HYPERBOLE.

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  • lakershater13

    I really would like to see some youtube videos of the people on here saying blakes dunk was weak. Please upload your videos of you all jumping off 2 feet over the hood of a car and catching the ball and dunking it. If its so easy and weak lets see you all do it. chris and batman: You can do it right? Im not saying that was the best dunk ever because it probably wasnt even top 5 in the contest that night but seriously unless you can do what he did stop hating.

    • Razah

      I can jump over the bonnet of a car and if i do get my hands on a camera one day i will post it on YouTube and let everyone here know about it. If i was as tall as Griffin, i could dunk it.

  • lakershater13

    The car was 110 inches wide. Over 9 feet. Just saying.

    • hdavenport

      While I agree with the sentiment of this post, because the dunk was awesome (nobody in the world could jump over the tallest part of a normal car), I don't thing that measurement is right. If it is, that's a very weird car.

      • lakershater13

        You are correct sir. The car is actually 72 inches wide so 6 feet still impressive. Im glad Razah can jump over the hood of a car but not dunk. So why is the dunk so whack if you cannot even dunk yourself?

        • Razah

          I can dunk easily, i was a long jump and high jump regional champion, discovered bball when i was 11. Add 10 inches to my height – Griffin's height (i'm 6ft) i can dunk over the highest point of the car ie. the middle part.

  • Razah

    The car dunk was WHACK…..come on…..i can jump over the bonnet of a car.

    • Chris O

      Haha I could jump over the hood of a car like that when I was 12, and I'm 5'9, no way an NBA player shouldn't be able to lol

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