Thursday, February 14, 2008

J-Kidd, Kobe, KG, TD & Shaq AKA 2000 All-Star Game

Best All-Star Game starting five ever?

Play No. 7 - Kobe’s sky-hook.
Play No. 6 - J-Kidd on Kobe alley-oop.
Play No. 5 - J-Kidd on TD off-the-glass alley-oop.
Play No. 4 - Shaq’s PG-like fastbreak.
Play No. 3 - Shaq’s 360-dunk.
Play No. 2 - J-Kidd’s lob under the hoop to KG, KG’s no-look-pass to TD and TD’s slam over Mourning.
Play No. 1 - AKA the greatest All-star Game play ever...

...Allen Iverson drives to the hoop through the wood of Kidd, Bryant, Garnett, Duncan and O’Neal, scor... nah he’s blocked by O’Neal, Kidd grabs the ball, throws an outlet pass to Bryant, 2-on-1 fastbreak with Garnett, Bryant passes beautifully to Garnett and he dunks it.

Suns’ Jason Kidd.

A regular triple-double threat, he is one of the top 'floor generals' in the game and a crafty defender who has a knack for stealing the ball, which often leads to immediate points via his legendary fastbreak skills. Kidd is considered by many one of the greatest passers and facilitators of the fastbreak in basketball history. Showing his legendary status, rumor among those who have played with him and against him is he is faster with the ball than without it.

Lakers’ Kobe Bryant.

Much of Kobe Bryant's meteoric rise to NBA super-stardom is attributed to his consummate work ethic. In each of his years in the league, Kobe showed improvement in all areas of his game, from shooting to strength to defense. On-court he is a very composed and competitive player with impressive concentration, able to deliver the toughest and clutch shots at the times most needed. It is these attributes that have made him a premier player in the NBA.

Timberwolves’ Kevin Garnett.
Because of his freakish athleticism and 7-foot stature, he is widely considered to be one of the most unique and revolutionary basketball players ever to play the game. Garnett can play all five positions on the floor, though he has made his mark playing the power forward position. He’s a great leader and one of the most intense players ever. He can do everything you want from a single player. Shoot and score from mid-range, defend, pass, simply whatever.

Spurs’ Tim Duncan.
He is noted for his poise, scoring and positioning ability in the offensive post, and effectiveness using some of the most basic and fundamental basketball moves. Duncan is famous for his graceful finesse on the court and for his low-key demeanor. He possess a sound all-around game - is able to produce very consistently on a day-to-day basis. His signature offensive moves are his smooth footwork and his accurate bank shot. A great defensive players, too.

Lakers’ Shaquille O’Neal.
He’s a physically exceptional player. His 7'1"/320-lb frame gives him enormous power and for a man of that size, he is quick and very explosive. He can post up a defender, turn around easily and power past him for a slam dunk - virtually unstoppable. In addition, he is a talented passer and an effective defender. His dominating physical presence inside the paint has caused dramatic changes in many teams' offensive and defensive strategies that can be seen over the course of his career.

My favorite five.

In an All-Star Game filled with spectacular alley-oops thrown by guards (Kidd and AI) and fantastic dunks by players of all sizes, it was big men who won the game for the West. Shaq O'Neal, Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett, the starting frontcourt of 7-footers for West All-Stars, combined for 70 points and 33 rebounds as the West held off several strong challenges from East to score a 137-126 victory before an energized crowd at The Arena in Oakland. *Size really was the difference in this game,* said West coach Phil Jackson afterward.

O'Neal (22 points, 9 rebounds, 3 blocked shots) and Duncan (24 points, 14 rebounds and 4 assists) shared Most Valuable Player honors. *It was an honor to be voted co-MVP, right next to this great player right here,* said O'Neal, sharing the spotlight and the dais with Duncan. Alluding to his frontcourt mates Duncan and Garnett, O'Neal added, *I think that's a historic front line.*

West led for all but three minutes of the game and several times built the lead to 11 points. East staged a magnificent 15-4 run to forge a 91-91 tie with 2:08 remaining in the third quarter, capped off by a Jerry Stackhouse 18-foot jumper. A layup by Chris Webber that beat the third-quarter buzzer gave the West a 99-97 margin after three quarters. West quickly regained control of the game early in the fourth quarter with an 8-0 run. With West ahead 101-99, Michael Finley scored five quick points on a three-point field goal and a driving layup, and Gary Payton made all three free throws after being fouled while attempting a three-pointer to give the West a 109-99 lead with 8:07 remaining in the game. East never got closer than eight points again. *It's a battle of size versus the quickness,* said Duncan. *And just on this given day, the size won.*

West scored at least 31 points in each of the four quarters, keeping up the pressure on smaller East squad with a host of dunks, many on alley-oops provided by Kidd, who finished with 14 assists and 11 points. The West scored a mind-boggling 86 points in the paint, compared with just 54 for East. *I liked how our guys hung in there,* said East coach Jeff Van Gundy of New York. *We had a couple of chances to get ahead, but we couldn't get over the hump.*

Iverson led all scorers with 26 points and also added 9 assists. But that wasn’t enough. *The guys were so unselfish on the team, they wanted to bring the ball down and have me run off screens so I could play the game I've been playing for two years now,* Iverson said. *It was just a great experience for me.* Fans waiting to see Vince Carter (12 points) dunk in his first NBA All-Star Game appearance were kept waiting for exactly 2 minutes and one second for that experience. After a short jumper by Duncan and a tip by Garnett gave the West a 4-0 lead, Iverson gave the ball to Carter down low for a quick vertical slam. Just one minute later, Eddie Jones looped a pass out of traffic near midcourt which led Carter perfectly. He reached into his bag of tricks for a spinning 360-degree slam that invoked memories of his instantly classic appearance in the Slam Dunk on Saturday.

O'Neal made his imprint on the game in the first quarter and nearly made an imprint on the backboard. O'Neal slammed (the beginning of Play No. 1, of course) an Iverson scoop attempt against the backboard so loud that it could be heard from the first few rows of seats. Later he spiked a Dikembe Mutombo hook shot attempt in similar fashion. In the second half, O'Neal spiked another Iverson attempt for his third block of the game. As expected, the overwhelming size of West's starting frontcourt gave it the edge on the boards, with O'Neal grabbing six in the first quarter alone to lead an 18-13 West advantage.

Both teams attempted several alley-oop passes for dunks, but big hands belonging to the likes of Duncan and Alonzo Mourning thwarted most attempts. One gorgeous connection that was made saw Kidd flip the ball from the left corner to O'Neal, who spun and powered home a decisive slam for a 31-24 edge with 1:18 remaining in the first quarter. West led from the very start of the game, but was not able to build the lead until a 9-0 run midway through the first quarter turned a 16-14 game into a 25-14 West advantage - the biggest of the first half - with 3:45 remaining. Kidd buried a long three-pointer and followed it up with a 23-foot shot from just in front of the line for five of the nine points in the spurt.

East staged a comeback early in the second quarter. Trailing 39-30, they scored eight straight points, punctuated by a Glenn Robinson slam dunk, to creep back within one at 39-38. A jumper shot and a layup by Finley put West right back in the driver's seat at 43-38. East turned up the defensive pressure, led by Mourning in the lane, and got back to within two on a Mourning dunk over Rasheed Wallace to cut the margin to 50-48 with 3:46 remaining. O'Neal and Garnett scored six points apiece down the stretch to give the West a 64-59 lead at halftime.

Some remarkable notes: John Stockton and Finley played exceptionally well in their reserve roles. Stockton hit all five of his shots for 10 points, while Finley hit five of six shots and scored 11 points. West combined for an impressive 42 assists, just three shy of the record for a regulation game, set by West All-Stars in 1986. In addition to Kidd's game-high 14 assists, Payton had eight and Garnett added five. Mourning was involved in one the game's best sidelights. He had a game-high four blocked shots, including a couple against the high-flying Wallace late in the fourth quarter. Wallace did finally get his dunk, powering one through before Mourning could get the rim from the other side of the lane.

No. 32, No. 8, two Nos. 21 and No. 34. What a damn good combination. P-E-R-F-E-C-T W-O-R-L-D!

2000 All-Star Game Boxscore
West 137, East 126

1 2 3 4 Total
East 26 33 38 29 126
West 33 31 35 38 137

Carter 28 6-11 0-2 0-0 2 2 4 2 0 2 2 0 12
Hill 19 3-7 0-1 1-1 0 3 3 5 0 1 3 0 7
Mourning 27 7-11 0-0 1-2 2 5 7 1 4 3 1 4 15
Jones 21 4-7 2-3 0-0 1 3 4 3 1 1 1 0 10
Iverson 28 10-18 2-2 4-5 2 0 2 9 0 2 5 0 26
Houston 18 3-10 1-3 4-4 0 0 0 2 1 1 1 0 11
G.Robinson 17 5-10 0-0 0-0 2 4 6 0 0 0 0 0 10
Allen 17 4-13 1-6 5-6 1 0 1 2 2 3 3 1 14
Mutombo 16 2-4 0-0 0-0 2 6 8 0 0 0 2 0 4
Davis 14 2-3 0-0 0-0 3 5 8 1 0 0 0 0 4
Stackhouse 14 4-7 0-0 0-0 0 1 1 2 2 0 1 0 8
Miller 21 1-7 1-6 2-2 0 2 2 3 1 1 1 0 5
TOTAL 51-108 7-23 17-20 15 31 46 30 11 14 20 5 126
Team Rebs: 8 Total TO: 20 (24 Pts)

Garnett 35 10-19 0-1 4-4 3 7 10 5 1 1 0 1 24
Duncan 33 12-14 0-0 0-0 7 7 14 4 3 1 2 1 24
O'Neal 25 11-20 0-0 0-2 4 5 9 3 2 0 4 3 22
Bryant 28 7-16 1-4 0-0 1 0 1 3 3 2 1 0 15
Kidd 34 4-9 3-6 0-0 0 5 5 14 0 4 6 0 11
Payton 20 1-8 0-4 3-3 0 4 4 8 1 2 2 0 5
Webber 13 3-10 0-0 0-0 3 5 8 3 2 1 2 0 6
Wallace 21 3-6 0-0 3-4 2 2 4 0 0 1 0 1 9
Finley 10 5-6 1-2 0-0 0 1 1 0 0 0 1 0 11
D.Robinson 7 0-1 0-0 0-0 1 1 2 0 1 0 1 0 0
Stockton 11 5-5 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 2 2 1 0 0 10
Malone 3 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
TOTAL 61-115 5-17 10-13 21 37 58 42 15 13 19 6 137
Team Rebs: 5 Total TO: 19 (19 Pts)

Officials: Joe Crawford, Terry Durham, Joe Forte
Location: The Arena in Oakland
Attendance: 18325

p.s.: *we were ready to run through the wall for kevin garnett," glen davis said after sa-bos game.
p.s.2: tim duncan joked on speculation that he’s the reason why lakers and suns made those megadeals: *i’m not honored in any way. i’m a little pissed off. maybe i should have missed a couple more shots.*
p.s.3: gregg popovich on gasol trade: *what they did in memphis is beyond comprehension. there should be a trade committee that can scratch all trades that make no sense. i just wish i had been on a trade committee that oversees nba trades. i'd like to elect myself to that committee. i would have voted no to the l.a. trade.*
p.s.4: yes, his future is as a pro, but the next lebron? with his throwback ethic and straight-up d, he's more likely the next bruce bowen. (-luke cyphers about draft-prospect o.j. mayo)
p.s.5: if the basketball gods exist, shaq will find the fountain of youth in the desert instead of a fountain of gravy. (-bill simmons)
p.s.6: reactions on ginobili's 46-pt game, 8 3-pts vs. cavs: *manu Ginobili,* cavs coach mike brown said, *is a bad boy.* *i guess that's how opposing teams feel when i get going like that,* said lebron james.
p.s.7: Enjoy 2008 ASG in New Orleans, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, lots of FUN! See ya later my friends.

Posted by Foreigner in CS - Feb 14 2008 6:33PM

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