NBA

Couch Side Podcast Episode 54: High On The Heat


Will the Miami Heat return to the NBA Finals this year? Photo by: Paolo Rosa / Flickr

Will the Miami Heat return to the NBA Finals this year? Photo by: Paolo Rosa / Flickr

BY Couchsideshow.com staff

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Couch Side hosts Wade McMillin and Craig Paul have had a lot on their plate lately, but they’re back for another exciting episode of the podcast. After a two week hiatus, the hosts return to dish out some NFL offseason grades, talk all things Tim Tebow, dive into the NBA playoffs, examine Tiger Woods’ Players championship win and criticize the voting of the NBA All-Defensive Team. Click below to start streaming, downloading or subscribing to the Couch Side podcast:

•  Click here to stream the Couch Side Podcast Episode 54: High On The Heat, via our host site, TalkShoe

• Click here to download the Couch Side Podcast Episode 54: High On The Heat, via our host site, TalkShoe

• Click here to stream, download or subscribe to the Couch Side Podcast Episode 54: High On The Heat, via iTunes


The Beginning of the End: Predictions and a look at the NBA playoff picture


BY MATTHEW VISKO and BRETT MURDOCK, Couchsideshow.com senior bloggers

Editor’s note: The preview portions of this blog were written by Matthew Vinsko. Brett Murdock contributed predictions.

Basketball is my favorite sport and it has been for a long time. Unlike baseball, football, and hockey, basketball provides high scoring affairs that can captivate fans and casual viewers alike with quick plays that include dunks, alley-oops, and even well-timed blocks.

That’s why each postseason provides a bittersweet experience for this fan.  Yes, the level of play intensifies as we work to finally crown an NBA Champion, but at the cost of a four month hiatus to one of the world’s most popular sports.

This year’s postseason is ripe with storylines (Can James Harden stop his old team from reaching the second round?  How long can the Lakers last without Kobe Bryant?  Who will stop the juggernaut that is the Miami Heat?).  But the real goal of the first round of the playoffs isn’t so much to answer these questions, but rather separate pretenders from contenders as each team takes its first step to the Finals.

Read on for predictions from both myself and my longtime collaborator, Brett Murdock, as we break down the ins and outs of each matchup in the first round.

Will Russell Westbrook (left) and Kevin Durant have what it takes to win the NBA Finals this year? Photo by: Keith Allison / Flickr

Will Russell Westbrook (left) and Kevin Durant have what it takes to win the NBA Finals this year? Photo by: Keith Allison / Flickr

Western Conference

(1) Oklahoma City Thunder vs. (8) Houston Rockets

This is one matchup that might be closer than you think because of both team’s ability to put the ball in the basket.

Houston finished second in the NBA in scoring this year at 106 points per game with James Harden leading the way at just over 25 points per game.  OKC finished third in scoring with 105 points per game, led by its MVP candidate, Kevin Durant, who finished with 28 points per game, second in the scoring title race behind Carmelo Anthony.

But as it’s come to be known in postseason basketball, defense wins championships, and the Thunder finished in the top ten of the league in points allowed at a shade over 95 points per game.  Houston, on the other hand, allowed over 102 points per game, which won’t help them against the high-scoring dynamic duo of Durant and Russell Westbrook (no respect to Kevin Martin either; the guy can flat out score).

Harden can score with the best of them, but unless Chandler Parsons and Jeremy Lin can score consistently, expect Houston to serve as practice for the Thunder’s defense on their journey back to the NBA Finals.

• Matt: Oklahoma City Thunder in 5 games

• Brett: Oklahoma City Thunder in 6 games (more…)


Couch Side Podcast Episode 52: Final Four Preview


Find out in this week's episode who Couch Side has winning it all in the NCAA men's basketball tournament. Photo by: Jason Helle / Flickr

Find out in this week’s episode who Couch Side has winning it all in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. Photo by: Jason Helle / Flickr

BY Couchsideshow.com staff

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In the 52nd episode of Couch Side, hosts Wade McMillin and Craig Paul talk a lot of hoops. Special guest and senior blogger Matthew Vinsko joins the podcast this week to discuss his win in Couch Side’s All-Time NBA Fantasy Draft and he sticks around to banter about the NBA playoff picture. Then, Craig and Wade preview the Final Four and give their predictions of who will reign supreme on the college hardwood in 2013. The hosts wrap up this week’s show with headlines from around the NFL, many of which have to deal with quarterbacks finding new homes. Click below to start streaming, downloading or subscribing to the Couch Side podcast:

•  Click here to stream the Couch Side Podcast Episode 52: Final Four Preview, via our host site, TalkShoe

• Click here to download the Couch Side Podcast Episode 52: Final Four Preview, via our host site, TalkShoe

• Click here to stream, download or subscribe to the Couch Side Podcast Episode 52: Final Four Preview, via iTunes


Starting Five: Kansas and the NBA


BY BRETT MURDOCK, Couchsideshow.com blogger  

University of Kansas guard Ben McLemore perhaps has the highest ceiling of any of his Jayhawk teammates who will look to turn pro this year. Photo by: Darin and Shannon White / Flickr

Ben McLemore could be an NBA lottery pick. Photo by: Darin and Shannon White / Flickr

Well, it took some time, but I am finally over my Kansas Jayhawks losing to Michigan in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament.

Truthfully, most of my resentment came from Elijah Johnson’s poor decision-making in the closing seconds of overtime that potentially cost them a win. It was the best game of the tournament, and possibly the game of the year in college basketball, and I am thankful that KU was part of it.

But, it’s over now, and regardless, I’m still “Rock, Chalk” all the way, and will be forever. Now, we have to look to the future and for Kansas, that means a new starting five because this season’s normal starting line-up of Elijah Johnson, Ben McLemore, Travis Releford, Kevin Young, and Jeff Withey are either graduating or going to the NBA.

And that is what this blog is about. Determining what the future holds for those five young men, who bled crimson and blue in their time. For purposes of listing and building anticipation, I’m going to go in reverse order of what I think about their chances to be in the NBA.

5. Kevin Young (SF/PF, 6-foot-8, 190 lbs.)

A workhorse through his two years at Kansas after transferring from Loyola Marymount, Young played as an undersized power forward for the Jayhawks. His main job was to hit the glass for rebounds, use his underrated athleticism, and be a hustler for coach Bill Self. And he did a mighty fine job of it. Unfortunately, those skills don’t really translate to the NBA, especially when you combine his lack of true offensive talent — not being able to create his own shot, a bad looking jump shot, little ball-handling skills, etc. He is a likable guy and worked hard during his stint in Lawrence, but there is no real future for him in the pros, unless he really puts in the work but at his age, time is already passing by quickly.

• NBA Comparison and Future: None, and overseas or coaching.

(more…)


Couch Side’s All-Time NBA Fantasy Draft Recap


BY Couchsideshow.com staff

Couch side senior blogger Matthew Vinsko won our All-Time NBA Fantasy Draft.

Couch side senior blogger Matthew Vinsko won our All-Time NBA Fantasy Draft.

The Couch Side All-time NBA Fantasy Draft concluded about a week and a half ago. The teams were picked. Judges have dished out their decisions and we have a winner! For those of you who didn’t get a chance to listen to these special edition podcasts, click here to access them via iTunes or follow the links and clicks below:

• CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO ROUND ONE: 

• CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD ROUND ONE 

• CLICK HERE TO LISTENING TO ROUND TWO: 

• CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD ROUND TWO

Now that access to the All-Time NBA Fantasy Draft has been granted, let’s unveil the teams and how they were ranked. Couch Side asked three judges, Chris Etling, Chuck Constantino and Vin Cappiello to rank the teams one through five, based on talent and how the team would mesh. A very huge thank you goes out to those judges, especially Chris, who offered a deep analysis of each squad. You can check out more of Chris’ works and podcasts by visting his blog site, atthebuzzershow.com.  Here’s a look at that analysis, team rosters and how the voting broke down of Couch Side’s top 100 NBA players of all time by position:

CHAMPION: Matthew Vinsko (Two first-place votes, one second-place vote, 1.68 average — Third pick overall, third in round two)

• Starters: C. Kareem Abdul Jabar, PF. Tim Duncan, SF. Kevin Durant, SG. Reggie Miller, PG. Oscar Robertson

• Bench: C. Patrick Ewing, PF. Kevin McHale, SF. John Havlicek, SG. Pete Maravich, PG. Isaiah Thomas

• Analysis by Chris Etling: At first glance, this lineup looks bizarre to me. Then I start thinking about the synergy of offense and defense that the starting five can bring, and I change my mind. Robertson changed the point guard position with his blend of scoring, rebounding and passing, and he’ll have two tremendous shooters in Durant and Miller to help space the floor. That gives Abdul-Jabbar and Duncan plenty of room to operate in the post where they’re most effective. Defensively, Duncan helps cover for Kareem’s deficiencies, and the rest of the lineup is solid. The bench includes the enigma that is Pistol Pete and some rock-solid players like McHale and Thomas. And since this team is playing for pride and not an NBA title, Patrick Ewing might actually contribute.

• Votes: TALENT: 3rd; MESH: 1st; OVERALL: 2nd (Chris); 2nd (Vin); 3rd (Chuck)

• Championship comments: “I had a lot of fun teaming up with five fellow NBA fans to take a look at the past, present, and future of the NBA,” Vinsko said. “I’m happy my knowledge of my favorite sport has led me to make the decisions I did regarding drafting. I had a blast researching the best players at each position to put together what I deem a super team, and thank everyone involved for putting this together. I think a similar draft or panel in the future would be equally stimulating, and hope to continue contributing anyway that I can.” (more…)


Couch Side Podcast Episode 49: All-Time NBA Fantasy Draft — Round Two


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BY Couchsideshow,com staff

The Couch Side podcast concludes its All-Time NBA Fantasy Draft, wrapping up the star filled list of the top 50 players in professional basketball history. The All-Star panel of Brett Murdock, Craig Paul, Matthew Vinsko, Sean Schoonover and Stayson Isobe return to select their benches after picking starters almost three weeks ago. Couch Side editor Wade McMillin serves as the moderator of the draft and has three specials judges ready to rank the guest panel’s teams. To find out which NBA greats were selected in this round, you’ll have to listen to the podcast, but check back in to couchsideshow.com about one week from now for complete rosters and to see who won this heated basketball battle. Click below to start streaming, downloading or subscribing to the Couch Side podcast!

•  Click here to stream the Couch Side Podcast Episode 49: All-Time NBA Fantasy Draft — Round Two, via our host site, TalkShoe

• Click here to download the Couch Side Podcast Episode 49: All-Time NBA Fantasy Draft — Round Two, via our host site, TalkShoe

• Click here to stream, download or subscribe to the Couch Side Podcast Episode 49: All-Time NBA Fantasy Draft — Round Two, via iTunes


Quick read: Dwight Howard says Kobe is teaching him to be a man


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I would hope that Dwight Howard is starting to figure things out, but because he talks so much and contradict himself so often, you have to wonder.

Dwight spoke to the media again and said that it took him half the season, but he understands now what Kobe was saying about keeping the clown act in Orlando.

“It’s going to make me a better man and a better player from watching Kobe,” Howard said.

“Besides just the expectations,” he said. “In games, I mess up and there’s somebody in the crowd saying something and I’m ready to snap at ‘em. That’s not what we’re supposed to do.

“But you look at a guy like Kobe and he doesn’t care about nothing but going out there and playing hard. That’s a lesson a lot of us have to learn — especially young guys.”

“I told him [Bryant]: ‘I’m afraid to miss. When I get out there, I don’t want to miss, and I end up missing.’ And he was like: ‘You know what? Shoot 1,000 jumpshots a day. You’re going to miss a lot of those shots. But that’s OK. Because you’re teaching yourself it’s OK to miss.’

“Now I see it. He gets out there and he might miss a couple 3s, but then he’ll make nine in a row. You see that and it just kind of gives you more inspiration.”

Dwight Howard is a grown man with 5 Baby Mamas, he shouldn’t need Kobe to teach him to be a better man, but maybe he needed to see someone who takes his profession seriously to wake up and realize he isn’t a child anymore.

It might be too little, too late for the Lakers, but they are making a push currently for the playoffs. Dwight Howard is going to have to stop clowning and start balling for them to make it.

Be sure to check out other great articles at BlackSportsOnline.

Couch Side Podcast Episode 48: The Great Steroid Discussion


Couch Side hosts Craig Paul (left) and Wade McMillin jive about juice in this week's podcast.

Couch Side hosts Craig Paul (left) and Wade McMillin jive about juice in this week’s podcast.

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BY Couchsideshow.com staff

Couch Side gets back to its roots as Craig Paul and Wade McMillin pump up the crowd with their usual sports banter. This week’s topics include the rather boring NBA trade deadline, the biggest surprises and disappointments of the NBA, steroids and where NFL quarterback Alex Smith might wind up. Also, Craig and Wade share a special message about a worthwhile benefit in Powell, Wyoming. If you live in the area, please attend the “Bring Brad Home Benefit” in Powell, Wyoming at 9 a.m. Saturday at the Park County Fair Grounds. For more information please click hereClick below to start streaming, downloading or subscribing to the Couch Side podcast!

•  Click here to stream the Couch Side Podcast Episode 48: All-Time NBA Fantasy Draft, via our host site, TalkShoe

• Click here to download the Couch Side Podcast Episode 48: All-Time NBA Fantasy Draft, via our host site, TalkShoe

• Click here to stream, download or subscribe to the Couch Side Podcast Episode 48: The Great Steroid Discussion, via iTunes


Quick Read: MJ’s trainer says he would be Bobcats’ best player


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Could Michael Jordan really make an impact as a player with the Charlotte Bobcats at age 50? Photo by: simplistic.designs / Flickr

Could Michael Jordan really make an impact as a player with the Charlotte Bobcats at age 50? Photo by: simplistic.designs / Flickr

Michael Jordan just turned 50 and you would have had to have been in a coma to have missed that fact with all the celebration going on.

Much of the debate the past week has been about what Jordan would do to LeBron James or any other player in the prime of Jordan’s career. The question now though is what would MJ do today, right now if he was the starting shooting guard for the Charlotte Bobcats?

If you asked Jordan’s long time trainer Tim Grover, lets just say he has all the confidence in the world in Jordan.  During a recent radio interview with WFNZ in Charlotte, Grover said not only would “Jordan be the Bobcats best player on the floor today, he’d still average 20 plus points.”

Tell me why you truly believe if he made a comeback, he’d be the best player on the Bobcats right now:

“First of all, the Bobcats are a very young team, so he knows how to create [things] and how to take away guys’ strengths. … Just the way he would compete, that if one of the players actually did beat him, he would take it so seriously that he would get himself in better shape and re-challenge that individual until he’d be able to beat him again. His skill set was so high. … I guarantee it’s still higher than most of the guys out there.”

What kind of numbers would he put up?:

“He’d average 20. Yeah, he’d average 20. … Listen, would he be able to go out and get through an 82-game season? One thing people also [forget], he had no major injuries. … But yes, Father Time is undefeated. But again, there’s so much advancement out there … in anti-aging and so forth, so it is possible. I don’t think that he would come back unless he was 100 percent ready.

I know most of my readers are going to say but it’s the Bobcats.  Still to be 50 and average 20 in the league or be the best player on an NBA franchise.

I’m just saying.

Be sure to check out other great articles at BlackSportsOnline.

Couch Side Podcast Episode 47: All-Time NBA Fantasy Draft


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BY Couchsideshow,com staff

The Couch Side podcast has special guests galore in this week’s episode as our biggest panel ever tackles an All-Time NBA Fantasy Draft. Join our special panel of Brett Murdock, Matt Vinsko, Craig Paul, Sean Schoonover, Stayson Isobe and moderator Wade McMillin for Couch Side’s official top 25 NBA players by starting lineups. Each guest picks a legendary player to fill their team in each positon — center, power forward, small forward, shooting guard and point guard — during five rounds of fantasy NBA action that doesn’t discriminate between current and legendary players. Also, be the judge for yourself by commenting on who has the best team at the bottom of this post. Click below to start streaming, downloading or subscribing to the Couch Side podcast!

•  Click here to stream the Couch Side Podcast Episode 47: All-Time NBA Fantasy Draft, via our host site, TalkShoe

• Click here to download the Couch Side Podcast Episode 47: All-Time NBA Fantasy Draft, via our host site, TalkShoe

• Click here to stream, download or subscribe to the Couch Side Podcast Episode 47: All-Time NBA Fantasy Draft, via iTunes


Picking with the Pros: A Look at the Rising Stars Challenge on All-Star Weekend


BY MATT VINSKO & BRETT MURDOCK, Couchsideshow.com senior bloggers

Cleveland Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irvng earned the top pick for Couch Side's All-NBA sophomore team. Photo by:

Cleveland Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irvng earned the top pick for Couch Side’s All-NBA sophomore team. Photo by:

Come Valentine’s Day weekend, most people will be spending their hard-earned money on chocolate, stuffed animals, and other gifts in an attempt to impress their loved ones.

But for two Couch Side writers, Feb. 15 marks the beginning of the NBA’s All Star weekend, a three-day period full of dunks, skills, and the occasional shooting star. While most will have their eyes set on the All-Star game Sunday night, the rookies and sophomores of the NBA will have their own game to show off their skills on Friday.

The Rising Stars Challenge used to consist of rookies versus sophomores.  But that trend changed last year when two TNT-analysts drafted their own teams, who then faced off in a marquee matchup of young talent.  Before the pros pick this year’s Rising Stars this Thursday on the NBA on TNT, see who Matt and Brett expect to comprise each team and who looks to have an edge entering All-Star Weekend.

To decide who picked first, a coin toss was held.

With the first pick, Matt has selected: Kyrie Irving.  Easily the most talented player in the rookie/sophomore class; one who is set to start the All-Star game as well in Rajon Rondo’s absence.

With the second pick, Brett has selected: Anthony Davis.  As far as game goes, he’s the biggest, most dominant low-post player on the roster.  Even in an exhibition game, you have to have that. (more…)


NBA Power Rankings Week 14: Race to the break


BY JORDAN WHEELER, Couchsideshow.com blogger

NBA Power Rankings (week 14) are organized with this week’s ranking, the team and last week’s ranking in parenthesis. 

Western Conference

1. San Antonio Spurs (2) - The Spurs won their 2 games this week against the Bobcats and the Wizards. That marks 10 wins in a row for them, and a 38-11 record, which is best in the league. Tim Duncan left the game against the Wizards so hopefully that isn’t too serious.

2. Oklahoma City Thunder (1) - Oklahoma has lost 2 of their last 3 games. They lost to the Lakers and to the Cavs. They have 3 games this week and I believe they should rebound and come away with 3 wins.

3. L.A. Clippers (3) - Lob city is just 5-5 their last 10 games. They have 7 of their next 8 games on the road. They need to finish these next two weeks strong going into the All-Star break to keep a safe distance between them and Denver, Memphis, and Golden State.

• For the rest of Couch Side NBA Power Rankings Click Here

Eastern Conference

1. Miami Heat (1) - The Heat are just 6-4 their last 10 games, and they have lost 2 out of their last 3. The Heat have 7 games before the All-Star break, with a big week next week. They play the Lakers, Portland, and the Thunder before heading to Houston for All-Star weekend.

2. New York Knicks (2) - The Knicks are on a bit of a role. They have won 4 games in a row and have pulled even with the Heat again. They only have 5 games before the break and only of those games is against a quality opponent.

3. Brooklyn Nets (3) - With a win against Chicago on Friday keeps Brooklyn in the number 3 spot. 4 out of their remaining 6 games before the break are against quality opponents.

• For the rest of Couch Side NBA Power Rankings Click Here


NBA All-Star Rosters: Good, Bad and Ugly


BY MIKE HALIHAN, Feedcrossing.com syndication

Delightfully, my quams with the NBA All-Star rosters are at a minimum this season (compared to past seasons). With a few minor exceptions, I think they got it almost right this year.

The starters are set in stone and while it’s typical for some fans act outright delusional and warrant restricted access to All-Star voting, there’s nothing us realistic fans can do to change it. Besides, other than Kevin Garnett, I’m actually fine with the ten starters. Normally I could rant all day about the flaws with fan voting, but I’ll leave it alone while the going is good for this season.

Even though the reserves (announced Thursday night) were in decent shape, there are always exceptions. Coaches of the NBA, you did alright, but there’s always an opportunity for improvement. Let’s discuss.

 What They Did Right

  • Philadelphia 76ers point guard Jrue Holiday is was named to his first All-Star team last week. Photo by: Philadelphia 76ers / Flickr

    Philadelphia 76ers point guard Jrue Holiday is was named to his first All-Star team last week. Photo by: Philadelphia 76ers / Flickr

    Jrue Holiday. Of all the All-Star selections, the Jrue Holiday one pick is my favorite. There is no secret to how I feel about the Holiday All-Star scenario. With the guard situation in the East, he deserves to go over Deron Williams, over Brandon Jennings and even despite their better record, he certainly deserves to go over J.R. Smith. If you want the full rant, check the list posted above. Even though he’s already been named, I’ll slide in that he posted a career-high 35 points earlier tonight.

  • Paul George. I was extremely happy to see the coaches select George to his first All-Star appearance in the Eastern Conference. Sitting at 26-18 (only 4 games out of 1st) someone had to represent the Pacers in this game right? With the absence of Roy Hibbert, who’s having an abomination of a season, George has stepped up big time to lead Indiana back after a disappointing start to the season. David West certainly warrants some consideration, but George has put together the complete package or scoring, rebounding and defense (he even averages 3.7 assists per contest). Logging a heavy 36.7 minutes per game, I personally thought George was a no-brainer. I’m glad the coaches felt the same way. (more…)

Quick Read: Nash thinks it’s good that Gentry was let go by Suns


BY CHRIS EDWARDS, Feedcrossing.com syndication

 

The Phoenix Suns are in a coaching flux after Alvin Gentry was let go. Photo by: Dr. Coop / Flickr

The Phoenix Suns are in a coaching flux after Alvin Gentry was let go. Photo by: Dr. Coop / Flickr

Players or coaches are generally sad to see a coach go when he’s  fired. There’s always someone within the organization that marks this as a happy occasion. The Phoenix Suns recently fired Alvin Gentry from his post  and I’m sure that there were some sad to see him go. Former Suns guard and current Los Angeles Laker, Steve Nash is glad that Gentry was set free.

Nash and Gentry got along well and reached the Western Conference finals back in 2010. The franchise has gone in a different direction since then and haven’t been a threat to make the playoffs since the run they had two years ago. Nash was traded prior to the start of the season and says it’s actually a good thing that the Suns fired Gentry.

“Obviously, I’m sad for Alvin (Gentry), but in some ways maybe this is a good thing for him,” Lakers guard Steve Nash said after practice Friday. Nash was coached the last four years by Gentry, reaching the Western Conference Finals together against Los Angeles in 2010. “He’s a great coach, a really good coach and any club would be lucky to have him as a coach, that’s for sure. He’ll land on his feet for sure because he can really do a good job.” 

“I think the writing’s been on the wall,” Nash said. “It looks like it to me … They wouldn’t extend his contract. They just gave him the year to kind of play it out. It looked like they wanted to get their own guy in there.” 

That statement is more of an indictment of the Suns’ franchise and their decision making. The team that is currently constructed has no chance to win right now or anytime in the near future.

I kind of feel sorry for Gentry, since he seems to be a good guy, he always get stuck coaching bad teams.

Be sure to check out other great articles at just sports & just us .

Couch Side Podcast Episode 43: All-Star Roundtable


Couch Side hosts Craig Paul, left, and Wade McMillin pay hommage to NBC legends Magic Johnson and Michael Jordan.

Couch Side hosts Craig Paul, left, and Wade McMillin pay hommage to NBC legends Magic Johnson and Michael Jordan.

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BY Couchsideshow.com staff

Couch Side’s usual trio of Wade McMillin Craig, Paul and Sean Schoonover take on sports topics including, the AFC and NFC Championship,  the best All-Star festivities in sports and MLK Day in this week’s show. Click below to start streaming, downloading or subscribing to the Couch Side Podcast:

•  Click here to stream the Couch Side Podcast Episode 43: All-Star Roundtable, via our host site, TalkShoe

• Click here to download the Couch Side Podcast Episode 43: All-Star Roundtable, via our host site, TalkShoe

• Click here to stream, download or subscribe to the Couch Side Podcast Episode 43: All-Star Roundtable via iTunes


Couch Side Podcast Episode 42: College Hoops Hoopla


Michigan shooting guard Tim Hardaway Jr., could have the Wolverines playing for the NCAA championship. Photo by: Adam Glanzman / Flickr

Michigan shooting guard Tim Hardaway Jr., could have the Wolverines playing for the NCAA championship. Photo by: Adam Glanzman / Flickr

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BY Couchsideshow.com staff

Regular Co-Host Craig Paul is back this week as he and Wade McMillin discuss the NFL playoffs, shakeups in the Top 25 of the men’s NCAA basketball poll, Lance Armstrong’s confession, the Sacramento Kings possibly moving to Seattle and giant opening-day payrolls in baseball. Click below to start streaming, downloading or subscribing to the Couch Side podcast!

•  Click here to stream the Couch Side Podcast Episode 42: College Hoops Hoopla, via our host site, TalkShoe

• Click here to download the Couch Side Podcast Episode 42: College Hoops Hoopla, via our host site, TalkShoe

• Click here to stream, download or subscribe to the Couch Side Podcast Episode 42: College Hoops Hoopla via iTunes


NBA Power Rankings Week 12: Knicks get nipped


BY JORDAN WHEELER, Couchsideshow.com blogger

NBA Power Rankings (week 12) are organized with this week’s ranking, the team and last week’s ranking in parenthesis. 

Western Conference

  1. Oklahoma City Thunder (3) - Oklahoma is back on top of west with the best record in the NBA. They sit at 28-8, they went 3-1 this week with a bad loss to Washington. But even with that loss on a buzzer beater, they clearly are the best team in the association.
  2. L.A. Clippers (1) - The Clippers are the only other team with less than 10 losses, their record is 28-9. They had an easy week with only two games and still managed to loose at home against the Magic who had lost 10 straight games at the time.
  3. San Antonio Spurs (2) - Although the Spurs went 1-2 with a bad loss to New Orleans and a tough loss to Memphis, I still believe they are the third best team in the West.

• For the rest of Couch Side’s NBA Power Rankings, click here

Eastern Conference

  1. Indiana Pacers (3) - The Pacers are definitely playing the best basketball in the East right now. They are 8-2 their last 10 games which is way better than Miami or New York. New York is 4-6 and Miami is 5-5.
  2. Miami Heat (2) - The Heat are the best team in the East, but like I said last week their season has been a disappointment so far. They have a tough schedule this week with three west coast road games.
  3. New York Knicks (1) - New York had a rough week losing to Boston, Indiana, and Chicago. They did beat New Orleans on Sunday, but who cares really. They will be fine. I think they just have some adjusting to do to make STAT effective.

• For the rest of Couch Side’s NBA Power Rankings, click here

 


Get to know him: Larry Sanders


BY MICHAEL LOTT, Feedcrossing.com syndication

Milwaukee Bucks center Larry Sanders is beginning to make a name for himself during his rookie season by leading the NBA in blocked shows. Photo by:  Keith Allison / Flickr

Milwaukee Bucks center Larry Sanders is beginning to make a name for himself during his rookie season by leading the NBA in blocked shows. Photo by: Keith Allison / Flickr

The Milwaukee Bucks do not get a lot of nationally televised games, despite a young roster filled with a lot of potential stars.

Everyone knows about Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis because they can score, as they take a ton of shots each night.  A guy that is really starting to break out of his shell and will soon become a household name is Larry Sanders.  I chose Sanders as my “Get To Know Him” because I feel that he is not getting the respect he deserves around the country for his outstanding all around play. It’s very clear that the average basketball fan doesn’t know about him because he’s only owned in 70% of Yahoo fantasy leagues.  He’s now in his third year out of Virginia Commonwealth but is finally starting and getting close to 25 minutes per night.

Raise your hand if you saw Sanders ranking 46th across eight categories thanks to 8 points, 8.4 rebounds, 3.0 blocks, and 54 percent shooting. Sanders leads the NBA in blocks per game, ahead of last year’s leader Serge Ibaka and three-time DPOY Dwight Howard. – NBA.com

Larry Sanders has great size at 6’11, 235 lbs and is extremely athletic. I bet at the time most Milwaukee Buck fans were a little shocked when the Bucks selected him 15th overall in the 2010 draft, but are now seeing why the organization selected him so early.  In his rookie campaign Sanders played in a total of 60 games, getting 12 starts, only seeing 14.5 minutes per game.  In those 14.5 minutes Sanders was averaging over a block a game.  Last season Sanders actually saw his minutes decrease slightly getting 12.4 minutes per game but once again he was averaging 1.5 blocks in those limited minutes.   (more…)


Quick Read: Cuban was ready to sell Mavericks after 2006 NBA Finals


BY AL BRUCE, Feedcrossing.com syndication

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban. Photo by: Keith Allison  Flickr

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban. Photo by: Keith Allison / Flickr

We already knew that Mark Cuban didn’t take the Mavericks’ 2006 NBA Finals loss to the Heat very well, but now we’re learning that the loss almost cost the NBA one of its best personalities.

SlamOnline.com (via Fort-Worth Star Telegram)  reports that Cuban was so upset about the officiating in that series, that he considered selling the franchise that he had purchased from Ross Perot just six years earlier.   ”We put out feelers,” Cuban said. ”I was really questioning the integrity of the game. After 2006, I was probably ready to sell. But I took some time off.”  Cuban went on to say that he now wants his kids to own the team one day.

I certainly understand Cuban’s beef with the officiating after that Finals series, but I think the Sacramento Kings got the business much worse than Dallas in Sacramento’s 2002 Western Conference Finals Series against the Lakers.  I have long recognized the legitimacy of the perception held by some that the NBA is rigged to favor big-market teams, so with that understanding I don’t think that a series that featured two big markets (Dallas and Miami) is the kind of series that would be ripe for a conspiracy theory the way that Sacramento-L.A. was.  (more…)


NBA Power Rankings Week 11: Pacers race toward the top


BY JORDAN WHEELER, Couchsideshow.com blogger

NBA Power Rankings (week 11) are organized with this week’s ranking, the team and last week’s ranking in parenthesis. 

Western Conference

1. L.A. Clippers (2) - I have Lob City at the top spot this week because they never got their credit for winning 17 straight games before losing to Denver on Tuesday. They went undefeated in the month of December. The Clippers have arguably the best bench in the league, they have just two games this week, which I believe they should win. Prediction Clippers and Thunder in the Western Conference Finals.

2. San Antonio Spurs (3) - The Spurs had themselves a nice seven game winning streak that ended in New York on Thursday, they have two tough games this week against the Lakers and the Grizzlies.

3. Oklahoma City Thunder (1) - I moved the Thunder down to the third spot this week because of their loss to Brooklyn on Wednesday. The game was in Oklahoma, and the way Brooklyn was struggling at the time, there is no way the Thunder should have lost that game.

• Click here for Couch Side’s complete NBA Power Rankings

Eastern Conference

1. New York Knicks (1) - The Knicks stay at the top of the East at least for one more week. They have a better road record than Miami who sits just 1 game above .500, and they have won two in a row while snapping San Antonio’s 7 game winning streak.

2. Miami Heat (2) - I am definitely disappointed in the Heat. They are 7-6 on the road. I say they are simply lucky so far to be able to play a lot of games at home. If they had the Nuggets schedule no way they are sitting at 22-9.

3. Indiana Pacers (8) - Indiana moves up to the third spot. They are 7-3 which is tied for the best 10 game record. They only allow 89.8 points per games which is second in the league only to Memphis. I see this transitioning well to playoffs, and maybe their defense could be their ticket to the Eastern Conference finals.

• Click here for Couch Side’s complete NBA Power Rankings


Couch Side Podcast Episode 40: Over the Hill


The L.A. Kings' 2012 run to a Stanley Cup title made the list of Couch Side top moments in sports for 2012. Photo by: underactive / Flickr

The L.A. Kings’ 2012 run to a Stanley Cup title made the list of Couch Side top moments in sports for 2012. Photo by: underactive / Flickr

BY Couchsideshow.com staff

Couch Side is jacked to bring you the 40th episode of our show. Join hosts Wade McMillin and Craig Paul for dicussions about a couple of very tight divisions, the best sports moments of 2012, the R.A. Dickey trade, Duke taking over the No. 1 spot in the AP college men’s basketball poll and the return of Steve Nash. Join us for this very special holiday episode by clicking below:
• Click here to download Couch Side Podcast Episode 40: Over the Hill … via Talkshoe

NBA Power Rankings Week Seven: Clippers catching steam


BY JORDAN WHEELER, Couchsideshow.com blogger

NBA Power Rankings (week seven) are organized with this week’s ranking, the team and last week’s ranking in parenthesis. 

Western Conference

1. Oklahoma City Thunder (1) - The Thunder stay atop the Rankings this week. They are rolling with 10 wins in a row. I think they have reached the confidence level that they were playing with last year. They have two tough games at Atlanta and at Minnesota this week, and then an anticipated match up against Miami on Christmas Day.

2. L.A. Clippers (4) - The Clippers had another undefeated week. They have won their last 9 games, and that is why they jump up to the 2 spot this week.

3. San Antonio Spurs (2) - San Antonio had two losses this week against two good teams in Utah and Portland. They have another tough week with a road trip through Okalahoma and Denver. They can make their push for the top spot this week!

• For the rest of Couch Side’s NBA Power Rankings Click Here

Eastern Conference

1. New York Knicks (1) - They have proven to be the best team in the NBA so far this season. The Knicks are still undefeated at home sitting at 10-0; they have 3 games at home this week playing Houston, Brooklyn, and Chicago. That is a tough schedule we will see if they can get to 13-0 at home.

2. Miami (2) - I am a little disappointed in the Heat. I feel like they are just coasting through the regular season, and as good as they are they will be fine, they still might win the East, but I think they are underachieving so far this season. Personally I think they are good enough that they should threaten the Bulls regular season record.

3. Atlanta Hawks (3) - Atlanta went 2-2 this week with losing to the Heat and the Warriors. They have a tough week ahead of them with two back-to-backs, one ending with Oklahoma City and the other ending with Chicago.

• For the rest of Couch Side’s NBA Power Rankings Click Here


NBA Power Rankings (Week Six): Running of the Bulls


BY JORDAN WHEELER, Couchsideshow.com blogger

NBA Power Rankings (week six) are organized with this week’s ranking, the team and last week’s ranking in parenthesis. 

Western Conference

1. Oklahoma City Thunder (2) - The Thunder continue to improve. Kevin Martin is basically giving the Thunder what James Harden did. I think their biggest weakness is their rebounding; Durant shouldn’t be their leading rebounder. They are hot, winning their last 8 games.

2. San Antonio Spurs (3) - San Antonio has won their last four games with a solid win against Memphis. They also have the best road record in the NBA with 10 wins already; the next best team on the road has seven wins.

3. Memphis Grizzlies (1) - The Grizzlies have lost two out of their last four games. They lost to San Antonio and Atlanta. Zack Randolph is ballin out of control, he could be in the MVP talk at the end of the year.

READ MORE: For rankings 4-8 and Western Conference teams on the bubble, visit Couch Side’s NBA Power Rankings Page

Eastern Conference

1. New York Knicks (1) - New York is for real, they were able to beat the Heat by 20 points without Melo. I only have one concern for the Knicks — they shoot a lot of three’s. They were the first team in the history of the league to attempt 40 three-pointers in 2 consecutive games. At some point, I think this could hurt them somewhere along the way.

2. Miami Heat (2) - Miami still sits at No 2 because of their loss to the Knicks. I still think that Miami is going to win the East, but they are getting everybody’s A game simply because they are the Champs. On a side note, D-Wade is starting to look old.

3. Atlanta Hawks (4) - Hotlanta is 9-1 their last 10 games. They have won three games in a row, and they sit half a game behind Miami in the Southeast Division. They will be a tough match up for anybody in the playoffs.

READ MORE: For rankings 4-8 and Eastern Conference teams on the bubble, visit Couch Side’s NBA Power Rankings Page


NBA Power Rankings: Week Four


BY JORDAN WHEELER, Couchsideshow.com blogger

NBA Power Rankings (week four) are organized with this week’s ranking, the team and last week’s ranking in parenthesis. 

Western Conference

1. Memphis Grizzlies (1) - Memphis is going to stay at the top of my power rankings this week. They are the hottest team in the league going 9-1 their last 10 games, with a loss to Denver. 4 of their starters are averaging 15 points, and Zach Randolph is averaging an amazing 5 offensive rebounds a game. That is a lot of extra possessions to get points on the board.

2. Oklahoma City Thunder (4) - The Thunder are starting to mesh better after the roster shake up at the beginning of the year. They are 8-2 in their last 10 games with a nice win against the Clippers this week.

3. San Antonio Spurs (2) - The Spurs won two tough road games this week, one at Boston and one at Indiana. The have 6 guys who are averaging around 10 points a game. They use their bench more than anybody in league that should help those old legs of their stars stay fresh.

READ MORE: For rankings 4-8 and Western Conference teams on the bubble, visit Couch Side’s NBA Power Rankings Page

Eastern Conference

1. New York Knicks (1) - The Knicks are still on top of the East. They had two road losses this week but I’m not ready to move them down. I really like how they are playing, and I believe they are the Heat’s biggest threat.

2. Miami Heat (2) - The Heat are number 2 because they have one loss against their own conference. New York and Miami each are undefeated at home, they each are 4-3 on the road, and undefeated in their own divisions. New York however is 6-0 in the East compared to 5-1 for Miami.

3. Brooklyn Nets (3) - The Nets went 2-2 this week. I am a little concerned about the Nets. Brook Lopez is their leading scorer. I believe that needs to change for them to be a contender. Joe Johnson should be that guy. They also need to become a better rebounding team.

READ MORE: For rankings 4-8 and Eastern Conference teams on the bubble, visit Couch Side’s NBA Power Rankings Page


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