Salim Stoudamire Picked Up By Bighorns

Salim Stoudamire is going to Reno. I first heard about this from Scott Schroeder via my twitter page and

Salim Stoudamire is now a Reno Bighorn. Photo Courtesy of Getty Images

while I’m not too overly excited about it, I’m not too disappointed either. Like a mediocre tie, you’ll wear it if you have to but you would rather not.

Anyway, back to Stoudamire. How did the Reno Bighorns come to acquire the former Arizona product? Well, we have Jermareo Davidson (who lit the Bighorns up for 25 points last Sunday) to thank for this. When the Idaho Stampede acquired the 6’10” Davidson, Stoudamire moved down to the player trade pool. Naturally, the Bighorns felt they could use another guard and it doesn’t hurt that Stoudamire has 2,672 minutes of NBA playing time under his belt.

But, one must look at the big picture with this transaction. With the addition of Stoudamire, the Bighorns now have five guards on the roster. Yes, you can never have too many play making guards on one team but surely there is an alternate reason for the pickup. Possibly Coach Muss heard whispers that point guard Aaron Miles will get a Gatorade Call Up (NBA teams are allowed to offer 10 day contracts starting tomorrow). Or maybe Coach Muss hasn’t heard anything and is fearing the worse. Either way, Aaron Miles is probably going to be called up very soon.

So it is a bit bittersweet. Salim Stoudamire is a somewhat recognizable name to basketball fans and an NBA vet. He averaged 8.0 points in 17 minutes per game during his three year stay with the Atlanta Hawks and was considered one of the better players in the 2010 D-League draft. While many still question Salim’s health (he injured his groin after signing with the San Antonio Spurs), I don’t foresee any problems with that. As reported by the Idaho Statesman, Stoudamire’s body “…is alive. It feels energy.” That’s good enough for me.

While I would take Aaron Miles over Stoudamire 13 times out of 10, Stoudamire should help the team. As long as he doesn’t clash with Coach Muss, the Bighorns will be ok. Go check out the Reno Bighorns take on the Iowa Energy tomorrow at 7:00 p.m. at the Reno Events Center.

Bighorns Performer of the Week(end)

Mo Charlo had 4 steals against Idaho on Saturday night

There’s a number of reasons why I like going to Reno Bighorns basketball games. Besides having the family friendly atmosphere, you experience a certain feel for the game that you don’t get so much at NBA games (unless you are sitting courtside, of course) or watching the game on your couch.

I could go on and on about how much I like to hear Coach Muss complain to the refs and how much I enjoy Bruno and the guys with cowbells try and throw off an opposing player’s free throw attempt. The one thing that I love seeing above everything else, though, is hustle and passion. I like seeing players fight for offensive rebounds and play hard nosed D every time they step out onto the court. This is why this award goes to Mo Cha Cha Charlo.

Although the stat line for this weekend might not show it (26 points, 14 rebounds in two games), Charlo made smart decisions and was the catalyst for many of the Bighorns fast break opportunities. Only one rebound shy of a double-double on Saturday, he also had 4 steals and 1 block. 4 out of the 9 rebounds he collected were on the offensive end. It definitely helps your team when you have a player crashing the boards to get second chance opportunities.

On Sunday, Charlo had another solid line of 16 points, 5 boards, 5 dimes, 2 steals, and 1 block. Oh, young fella also didn’t turn it over once in 44 minutes of play. While the Bighorns lost that game, Charlo was attacking and making the plays to set up other teammates. More importantly, he led the team by example. On one play, Charlo deflected a pass while defending a much heavier Antoine Walker in the post. After the ball went out of bounds, Mo looked at the older Walker and the other Stampede players and shook his head as if to say “not gonna get any easy passes while I’m here.” It put a smile on my face. Subtle yet very clear.

Mo is a true competitor and I like him in the starting lineup. He let’s his game speak for itself and never takes a play off. If I was Coach Muss, Charlo would definitely stay in the starting lineup, especially with play maker Jeremy Lin heading back to the Golden State Warriors and Aaron Miles possibly heading on to greener pastures. Don’t be surprised to see Charlo get the green light to shoot more if any Bighorns players get called up in the next couple of weeks.

Congrats Mo. I don’t understand why the announcer thinks your middle name is “Cha Cha” but hey, doesn’t bother you, doesn’t bother me.

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Bighorns Split Weekend Festivities

Simply put, this weekend could have gone better for the Reno Bighorns. Having an opportunity to take two

Marcus Landry had 27 points on Sunday

games against last place Idaho, they settled for a split after dropping today’s game 110-103. Let’s look back at the weekend series vs. the Idaho Stampede.

Saturday: Bighorns win 107-85.
This game looked more like a clinic than an actual game. Going into halftime tied, the Bighorns ran away with it in the second half. The game was filled with highlight dunks and tremendous defense by the Bighorns. Here were the top plays of the game:

  • Patrick Ewing Jr. receives a pass from Aaron Miles, drives baseline, and throws down a one handed stuff. If you haven’t checked my twitter, it was pretty nasty.
  • Aaron Miles steals the ball and leads the break with Statrick Ewing Jr. coming from the right. Drawing the only defender in at the last moment, Miles floats a pass over the top and Pat finishes the oop with authority. Again, pretty nasty.
  • Mo Charlo steals the ball and with no one on the Idaho team challenging, gathers himself and puts down a nasty (yes, adjective of the game) windmill slam. So pretty, yet so nasty.
  • Chris Davis at the end of the fourth quarter takes the ball the full length of the court and throws it down with the right hand. Boy has ups. Yep, you guessed it: nasty.

All in all, it was a very balanced attack from an aggressive Bighorns team. 6 players scored twelve points or more and the team shot an impressive 50.6%. It was good to see Mo Charlo back in the starting lineup. Man was an absolute beast on the boards and active on defense with a team high 4 steals. Obviously, the starting five for the Bighorns (Jr., Charlo, Landry, Lin, Miles) was favorable against this small Idaho team but I actually would like to see this five start every game. They looked good together and shared the ball well. A starter last week, Hassan Whiteside played under 6 minutes for the game and put up 0’s across the stat sheet.

Chris Davis went 4-4 on Saturday

Chris Davis, D.J. Strawberry, Donald Sloan, and Doug Thomas were great off the bench. Strawberry (21 points, 6 assists) showed great poise alongside Aaron Miles. Chris Davis went 4-4 from the field on his way to 9 points. Overall, the team looked solid and yes: very nasty.

Sunday: Bighorns Lose 110-103.
Back-to-backs are hard. That’s not an excuse to lose this game though. After looking dominate on Saturday, the Bighorns came out on Sunday and looked flat. While the crowd thought the refs blew the game, it was actually just the Bighorns playing unmotivated and lackadaisical.  And credit should be given to the Idaho Stampede, who saw three players score 25 points.

Really, the Bighorns looked more concern with arguing with the refs. Yes, some calls didn’t go their way but the Bighorns still had every opportunity to win this ballgame. I hate using the refs as a scapegoat. If the refs make a bad call, get over it and just play. Believe me, the refs know when they messed up a call.

No, it wasn’t the refs. In my opinion, the attitude of the Bighorns leaders set the tone for the game. Pat’s attitude and body language, once again, bothered me a little. I honestly don’t mind Pat complaining that he’s not tired when taken out of the game like he did on Saturday night. I get it. I really do. Competitors want to be in the game at all times. What I don’t like is Pat (and Coach Muss, for that matter) arguing almost every call that doesn’t go their way. Pat needs to find a better way of brushing it off and not letting the refs dictate the way he plays. I hate when refs make a bad call as much as the next fan but I would rather see a leader like Pat play angry and take it out on the opposing team.

Yes, Pat was in foul trouble the whole game and this certainly affected his rhythm as he was help to just 5 points. But instead of arguing the call, I would like to see Pat come off the floor and give some advice to his replacement. For example, “Doug, 24 is just backing us down in the paint so deny the pass so he doesn’t get position,” instead of, “Are you %*&$& serious? I had my hands straight up!” Pat and Aaron Miles have assumed the leadership roles for the Bighorns and, naturally, they are fan favorites. I’m not bashing on Pat by any means and I’m certainly not trying to tell him how to play his game. Just a fan who wants to see Pat and the Reno Bighorns reach their full potential.

It should be noted that Jeremy Lin and Marcus Landry played phenomenal ball this game, scoring 26 and 27 points, respectively. Landry was 5-7 from downtown and 9-14 overall.  Mo Charlo, played like an animal once again but, along with Pat and Miles, battled foul trouble all game.

Coming off his 21 point performance on Saturday, Strawberry went 0-5 from the field and had 2 points. Hassan Whiteside had a decent game scoring 7 points, pulling in 6 boards and blocking 2 shots in under 12 minutes of play.

This isn’t a game that should be read into too much, however. Idaho played a terrific all around game and it was anyones game. Bighorns missed some shots at the end that sealed their own fate. I was actually more bothered by the fact that there was maybe…maybe…500 people at the game. This is your team, Reno. Come out and support.

The Bighorns are a very solid 10-6 for the year but are only 4-6 in their last 10 games and are now second in the west. Tough loses happen but I’m sure the Bighorns will respond this Wednesday as they take on the Iowa Energy at 7:00 p.m.

Bighorns Slumping?

The Reno Bighorns are 9-4

It’s well documented that slumps happen in sports. Teams can be playing exceptional ball one week and look dazed and confused the next. Players have times when the hoop seems like its the size of Atlantic Ocean and other days when it’s just a struggle to get a lay-up to go in. Rarely does a basketball team go through the whole season without any major setbacks.

After starting the season red hot at 6-0, the Bighorns have sputtered and have lost five of their last eight. The Bighorns dropped one last night against a very talented Bakersfield Jam team by three points after trailing by as many as twenty in the early going. The game was an absolute slop fest with a total of 54 turnovers in the game. Honestly, some parts were hard to watch. I feel bad for the twenty fans at the game.

Discussing the Bighorns with my Grandma this morning, she noted that it looks like the Bighorns are going through a funk right now. Clearly, their was hardly any team chemistry last night but I pointed out to Grandma that this is the nature of the D-Leauge (and for any team in any sport). Talented players, such as Jeremy Lin, must find their way in a new system in a very short amount of time. Lin is obviously going to help the team but the boys needs to get used to playing with him first. Until then, they will be a bit out of sync. And who knows, maybe when they finally start to mesh, he gets called back up to the Warriors. That’s just how it goes.

Grandma does have a point though. The Bighorns look out of it. Only two players on the squad had positive efficiency ratings last night (Marcus Landry and Jeremy Lin). Mo Charlo looked very aggressive off the bench, tallying 4 offensive rebounds and 10 total for the game but could only muster 5 points. Patrick Ewing

Hassan Whiteside is averaging 3.2 rebounds in the D-Leauge

Jr. went just 4-13 from the floor (he was only 2 assists shy of another triple double, however) and had 4 turnovers. I’m finally finished telling myself that Hassan Whiteside is going to blow and accept the fact that he struggling the most out of any player assigned to the D-League this year. A man that tall should be averaging more than 3.2 rebounds per game.

Even though they are struggling, I would rather have it be this way early in the season as opposed to later on when teams are pushing for the playoffs. As much as I bash on Nick in this blog, we need his presence and maturity on the floor. The team looks so much better when he is on the floor.

The Bighorns play an underachieving Idaho squad this weekend and should be two easy wins. If all goes well, the Bighorns will be 11-5 after the weekend’s festivities and, more importantly, will get a little more comfortable playing with each other.

 

Jeremy Lin Solid in Debut

Jeremy Lin Scored 10 points for the Reno Bighorns on Tuesday Night

It felt good to be at a Reno Bighorns game again. Good atmosphere, fun for the kids, oh and the basketball game wasn’t too shabby either. The Bighorns scrapped one out against the Tulsa 66ers on Tuesday Night, winning at home 98-91.

You’ve probably already heard by now from various sites that Jeremy Lin scored 10 points off the bench in his debut for the Reno Bighorns. On assignment from the Golden State Warriors, he looked comfortable in his first game since being sent down to the D-League.  To be honest, I didn’t know much about Jeremy Lin before today. I knew that he played for the Warriors, knew he went to Harvard, and I knew that there was a possibility that he would get sent down to the D-League. Other than that, Jeremy Lin was a bit of an enigma to me.

Now, I know at least three more things about Jeremy Lin. These three things are:

  1. He is smarter than me. And you too for that matter (Harvard alum people).
  2. Boy can hoop .
  3. Same as #2.

Ok so these three things aren’t really that helpful but they are really the only important things to know at the moment. Lin has good size, is a solid ball handler, and makes sound decisions on the floor. That’s exactly what you want at the point guard position. He’s not incredibly fast but is good at creating his own shot and will be a good addition behind Aaron Miles for the time being.

Statrick Ewing Jr. looked solid, coming up with some big plays down the stretch as the 66ers tried to claw their way back into it. Marcus Landry was the high man for the Bighorns with 19 points while also pulling down 5 boards. Aaron Miles had 1o assists and even recorded a block. Sadly, I must have been at the concession stand getting a hot dog because I missed it.

One of the most underrated plays of the night was Jeremy Lin stepping in under the hoop to take a charge in the fourth quarter. Looked like a block to me but it kept the 66ers at bay and didn’t allow them to get the momentum they desperately needed to make a push.

The Bighorns had every opportunity to run away in this game but just couldn’t put it all together. Yeah, they got the win but they were also outscored 27-13 in the third quarter. Nick Fazekas was in street clothes this evening and I’m still debating on whether that was a good or bad thing. The team looked fine without him but they could have also used some extra height to go along with Hassan Whiteside. Hopefully the young man’s ankle feels better soon because he definitely brings fans into the Reno Events Center.

I’m looking forward to the next home game on New Years Day. Start your year off right by watching the Reno Bighorns take on Antoine Walker and the Idaho Stampede at 7:00 p.m.

 

Tis the Season

I’m going to be completely honest with ya’ll right now. I’m not a fan of Christmas. You heard right, ladies and gents, Christmas just isn’t for me. I’m not saying I’m Scrooge or the Grinch or any of those nasty characters, I’m just not a fan. The only thing I like about Christmas is that the Lakers always have a nationally televised game.

Here’s what I don’t like about Christmas. Giving gifts. That may sound horrible but you know deep down you hate it too. You like receiving them, you like opening them… but damnit, you know you always cringe when you check your credit card statement and realize how much junk you bought that’s going to be outdated in a year anyway. My kid, for example, wanted a Nintendo DS more than anything in the world last year. So, being the good parent I am, I got her the Nintendo DS with a bunch of games. You know where that puppy is at right now? Neither does she.

Like I said, I love receiving gifts. I still love opening up presents. Just like when the Reno Bighorns got Hassan Whiteside from the Sacramento Kings.  A nice little treat I thought and a treat he has been indeed. Some would say he’s had his struggles, and I agree up to an extent, but the boy averages a ridiculous 11.91 blocks per 48 minutes. Let me repeat this again NBA Fanhouse, 11.91 blocks per 48 minutes.

But with any good gift you receive, there’s always (or almost always) a gift given in return. That’s why, as the New Year approaches, I won’t be surprised to see Aaron Miles or Patrick Ewing Jr. called up soon. Without question, if one, or both, of these players are called up, the Reno Bighorns will have large shoes to fill.

Taking Terence Williams out of the equation, Miles is third in the D-League in overall efficiency. His assist to turnover ratio is highest among D-League players who average more than 20 minutes per contest. The boy is also third in the D-League for steals with 2.33 per game.

Patrick Ewing Jr.’s points/rebounds/assists average is second best in the D, behind only Trey Johnson. Of the 12 games Pat has played in, he has had 4 double doubles. What stands out about Pat is his attention to detail and desire to win. Whenever he misses a shot, you can almost tell that he’s making a mental note to take more of those shots in practice.

Both Aaron Miles and Patrick Ewing Jr. would make great gifts under the trees of the Sacramento Kings or Golden State Warriors. Both are triple double threats each and every time they take the floor which is why I don’t want to see them leave the Bighorns. Of course, I always want to see young talent excel in the NBA. These two players have worked extremely hard to make it to the league. From a fan’s perspective though, the loss of either of these players would be devastating.

Christmas is a helluva holiday. Really, all I want for Christmas (besides floor seats to the Lakers/Heat game) is to see Aaron Miles and Patrick Ewing Jr. stay on the Reno Bighorns for the rest of the season, even if it’s more than likely that one of these players will get a call-up any moment. All it takes is one twist of the ankle to Tyreke Evans or Monta Ellis and Aaron Miles is packing his bags for California.

Enjoy them while you can Reno. Next game is on December 28, 2010 at 7:00 p.m.

Taking A Moment To Reflect…

89 in a row. If you hadn’t heard by now, the UCONN women’s basketball team accomplished a near impossible feat. After beating Florida State University 93-62 on Tuesday night, the women’s basketball surpassed the 88 game winning streak put up by John Wooden’s UCLA squad and now claim the most consecutive wins in NCAA Division I basketball history. Can’t remember the last time I did 89 things in a row.

You may not follow much women’s basketball but if you’re a fan in general, this should put a nice warm and fuzzy feeling in the bottom of your heart. I’m being completely serious. In a time period where we are still debating on whether we should put asterisks next to numbers in the record book, this 89 (and counting) game winning streak will never be tainted. None of these players are taking ‘roids, no coaches are taping practices, and there will be no ref scandals influencing the outcomes of the games.

This is hard work at its finest and I believe it’s safe to say that this team has a very legitimate shot at winning 100+ in a row. What I think is even more impressive is that this isn’t a fluke. Nope. In fact, the women’s team of UCONN won 70 in a row not too long ago from ’01 to ’03.

So big ups to the UCONN women’s basketball team. Eventually the streak will end and the hoopla will die down. Until then, soak it up basketball fans as we are truly witnessing history in the making.

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