Pre-Weekend Posters

We’re nearing the end of the week, so here are some poster dunks to help get you through the day.

Vinsanity on Alonzo Mourning

This Vince Carter dunk is forever in my top 5 of all time. This dunk easily checks all the boxes for a legendary poster.

  • Hangtime
  • Contact
  • on a 7-footer
  • Power

Just another example of the physical anomaly that is Vinsanity.

The Human Torch on Kenneth Faried

Terrance Ross aka “The Human Torch” showing off the highlight reel athleticism that helped earn him his nickname.

PG24 on Birdman

Players can become superstars in the eyes of the public overnight, and Paul George is no exception. During his 3rd season in 2013, George was having a breakout year.

That season, George averaged 17.4 points per game, a huge improvement from the 12.1 he averaged in the previous year. George was also slowly getting introduced to superstar minutes as he played 37.6 per game.

Even though he received an uptick in minutes and production, George was relatively unknown to casual fans, that was until his breakout against the Big 3 Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals.

George burst onto the national stage by leading the Pacers in a competitive series against the Heat, and the exclamation point on his emergence was this dunk on Chris “Birdman” Anderson.

Madison Williams Vs. Valparaiso

As if dunking on someone wasn’t enough, Madison Williams, the former Illinois State Redbird, taunts his victim while still under the basket and earns a technical foul.

Shaq on Chris Dudley

I don’t have to say much about this one. Dudley got so mad he threw the ball at Shaq. Just another prime example of why Shaq was the most dominant force in professional basketball.

Baron Davis on AK-47

Baron Davis is one of the most well-rounded guards in NBA history. Not many players had this combination of skill and athleticism. A vicious combo that made him able to compete at the rim despite being only 6’3.

This dunk came during the Warriors playoff run in 2007, the last time the Warriors were in the playoffs before Steph, Klay, and Draymond returned Golden State to the playoffs in 2013.

The “We Believe” Warriors team that Davis spearheaded is also the first and only 8-seed in NBA playoff history to defeat a 1-Seed in a 7-game playoff series. The Warriors bested the (67-15) Dallas Mavericks in six games and then went on to play the Utah Jazz in the next round, where this happened.

These are exactly what you needed to power through the day and get to the weekend.

All-Star Reserve Reaction

Yesterday, the reserves for the 2020 NBA All-Star Game were released. As the names dropped, people across the globe have offered their opinions on if the pool of players was an adequate representation of All-Star level talent in the league.

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Every season, a few players get snubbed from the All-Star game, but before we get to that, we should acknowledge the players who achieved their goals by playing at an All-Star level and were selected.

All the players selected had compelling cases, the reward goes beyond just playing in an exhibition game, and a top tier player not being selected can have ramifications that impact the entire league.

Long story short, if a player feels disrespected on a national scale, they might look elsewhere to play in the offseason. If the NBA can’t keep top tier talent spread around the league, the potential for parity in the NBA is low.

Sabonis & Bam

Before we get to the snubs, take the time to acknowledge two players that made a surprise run into the All-Star team this season.

Domantas Sabonis and Bam Adebayo were not on the radar of many fans to be all-stars at the beginning of the season. Despite not having the initial hype, these two excel every time they step on the floor and got the reward they deserved.

Beal & Booker

Several players have been mentioned in lists by many as All-Star snubs, but Bradley Beal and Devin Booker are at the top of mine.

Beal and Booker are both in the midst of two of the most impressive seasons that NBA players can have, and both produce enough to be considered a part of the top players in their respective conferences.

Beal and Booker are the 6th and 8th highest scorers in the league respectively, Chicago Bulls guard Zach LaVine (Currently 12th) is the only other top 15 scorer that is not an All-Star.

Devin Booker might be one of the most disrespected scorers in NBA history. (by fans)

Beal is currently averaging 28.7 points, 6.4 assists, and 4.5 rebounds per game. Those who feel it was fair to Beal attribute his non-selection to the lack of Washington’s success as a unit.

The argument of team success or missing a few games here is understandable, but the NBA has consistently allowed players who play on bad teams, miss games, but have good numbers, into the All-Star Game.

The Wizards are 16-31 and hold the 10th seed in the Eastern Conference. The team success argument should be a bit quieter when selecting a player who has individually placed himself within the top of his conference with the way he is improving his level of play this season.

Without Beal, the Wizards wouldn’t even compete to the level they have been, and they still are only 4.5 games out of the last playoff spot in the east.

Devin Booker

Devin Booker averages 27 points on 51 percent shooting from the field. Booker also has a true shooting percentage of 63 percent.

A list of other NBA players with similar points and true shooting for an entire season consists of Lebron James, Kevin Durant, Steph Curry, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Charles Barkley, and Adrian Dantley.

Five out of the six names mentioned are MVP winners, and two are currently in the Hall of Fame. (Dantley, Barkley)

Booker is in elite company and should receive the recognition he deserves for his play.

Ja Morant

Grizzlies rookie Ja Morant is another name that is on the list of All-Star snubs. Yes, I know the raw numbers aren’t the most flashy, but his play on the court is both flashy and effective.

Morant is the floor general for a 24-24 Grizzlies team that is riding a 4-game winning streak and sitting at the 8th seed in the Western Conference.

Morant is averaging 17.5 points, 7.2 assists, 3.5 rebounds and 1.1 steals per game. He has a hand in everything positive or negative that happens on the floor in Memphis and unites with fellow rookie Brandon Clarke to make one of the best rookie tandems we’ve seen in a long time.

That’s all there is to say about the All-Star reserves.

Feel free to battle me in the comments or on twitter @BucketsDistrict.

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Myles Powell, Walking Bucket

In March, the basketball world shines a spotlight on the NCAA Tournament, and basketball players across the country, especially those who play for smaller schools get their chance to erupt on the national scene. One player that caught my eye during the tournament was Seton Hall guard Myles Powell.

Powell is Bucket of the Week because his play raises the odds of victory for Seton Hall even if the rest of his team isn’t playing up to their usual strengths.

During the NCAA Tournament Round of 64, Seton Hall and Wofford squared off. While most of the country had its eyes on the Wofford 3-point barrage, led by NCAA All-Time 3-point field goal leader Fletcher Magee, I was impressed by the 27 point scoring effort that Powell was able to string together for Seton Hall.

In that matchup you could see that Powell was the only cog working in the Seton Hall offense that night, as he ended up being the only Pirate to reach double figures in the 68-84 loss.

Despite the result going against his favor and having a rough shooting night (10 for 25), it was a spectacle to see how he was able to keep fighting through the different looks the Wofford defense presented him and his scoring ability was the sole reason the Pirates were in the game until Wofford pushed away in the 2nd half.

Putting the ball in the basket is second nature for Powell, who averaged 23.1 points per game during the regular season and 26 per game in Big East Tournament play.

Powell has a great combination of shooting ability, handle and insane body control when attacking the basket. Guarding his combination of skill when he picks his spots effectively is a tall task for any defender, but his high energy on the defensive end of the floor and especially in passing lanes makes him a threat even on off shooting nights, so as long as he is on the court Seton Hall has a chance to beat any team on any night.

Bio from ESPN.com

Powell is returning to school for his senior year. If he can take his play from last year to an even higher level, Seton Hall could be primed to make a run in March.

LeBron James, Wizard Killer.

The most talented player of all time has garnered a bit of ill will during his career and diehard Wizards fans are close to topping the list of true LeBron Haters (Bulls fans are without a doubt #1).

I will forever admire LeBron’s play and appreciate what he does off the court, but I will never forget the repeated heartbreak he has bestowed upon Washington Wizards fans.

Most LeBron haters spawned from the belief that Michael Jordan is the G.O.A.T or general disapproval of his decision to leave Cleveland for Miami. Unlike the others, My Wizards fandom and LeBron related heartbreak are the deep-rooted foundation for the disdain I once held.

LeBron has career averages of 27.7 points, 7.7 rebounds, and 7.1 assists against the Wizards. These numbers aren’t too far away from his total career averages, but the utter dominance he displays over the team ripped the hearts out of Wizards fans who once hoped their teams would return to the glory the Bullets had in 1978.

The mid-2000’s Wizards “Big 3” that included Gilbert Arenas, Caron Butler, and Antwan Jamison were often pummeled by LeBron. The tale as old as time rang the same in the coming years, even after the Wizards went through a full rebuild and built the “House of Guards” consisting of John Wall and Bradley Beal.

The following are my personal top 2 LeBron James Wizard killing moments.

#2. The Damon Jones Game

The 2006 Eastern Conference First Round between the Wizards and Cavs was an absolute dogfight. The series was full of high emotion and clutch moments. After five hard-fought games, the series was 3-2 in favor of Cleveland.

At home in game 6, the Wizards fought aggressively and forced overtime. Late in overtime with the Wizards up 113-112, Gilbert Arenas got fouled, went to the free-throw line, and missed his first free-throw.

Before Arenas took his final shot, LeBron strolled to the line and whispered to Arenas as he prepared to take the shot. After the exchange, Arenas, an All-Star and an 80 percent career free-throw shooter, missed the most important free-throw of the game.

The Cavs secured the rebound, pushed the ball, and LeBron made a crisp pass out of a double team to a wide-open Damon Jones in the corner.

It is important to note that Jones had only just checked into the game, played a total of 14 seconds and attempted one shot the entire night.

Jones nailed the shot with 4.3 seconds remaining, and put the Cavs up 114-113.

After the shot, the Wizards got the ball back, but Caron Butler’s game-winning attempt clanged off the rim and in the blink of an eye, the series was over. Cleveland beats Washington 4-2.

Years later, we would eventually learn what LeBron said to Arenas at the line, and the details of what he said are what make this Wizard killing LeBron moment sting a little bit more.

Gilbert Arenas @no.chill.gil tells instagram what LeBron told him at the free throw line

#1. The turnaround bank shot

One of the best shots in LeBron’s career was also one of the most painful to watch as a Wizards fan.

In 2016, the Wizards season ended during game 7 of the Eastern Conference Semis. Losing to the Celtics was painful, but this LeBron buzzer-beater was a spirit-shattering moment during the most successful season for a men’s professional basketball team in D.C since the Washington Bullets won the NBA Finals back in 1978. (The Washington Mystics won the WNBA title in 2019).

To get to this iconic moment, we have to look at the lead-up to the shot attempt.

First of all, unlike Arenas from the 2006 matchup, John Wall nailed both of his free throws and gave the Wizards a 117-120 lead entering the 4th quarter. Next, Kevin Love inbounded the ball more than 3/4ths the distance of the court to get the ball to LeBron.

After completing the pass, King James would have to get enough separation from Bradley Beal to attempt the shot. Lastly, it took a stroke of luck to bank in cleanly off the backboard to tie the game.

If you’re a Wizards fan, you believe in Murphy’s Law, and everything that could go wrong went wrong that possession, unfortunately, it was enough to tie the game at the end of regulation.

In overtime, the Cavs dominated the period en route to a 140-135 win.

The shot will forever be in the annals of NBA history as one of the best regular-season moments in LeBron’s career.

That shot, like many others, does more than simply displaying the greatness of LeBron James, It also serves as a reminder to hoop fans in the District.

A reminder that the Wizards still have a long way to go before our home team can consistently compete on a championship level.

There are many examples of LeBron imposing his will on the Washington Wizards, and an endless supply of disappointing Wizards late-game moments, but these two were the worst watching in real-time.

Here are a few more Wizard destroying LeBron moments:

Jordan McRae is in his bag

Call the fire department. Shooting Guard Jordan McRae is setting the NBA G-League ablaze. His stellar play is putting the NBA community on notice but it has yet to place him in the NBA permanently.

McRae set a G-League record with his 10th straight 30 plus point performance this past weekend. McRae poured in bucket after bucket Saturday en route to a game high 44 points on the day.

This man is about a bucket and needs to get rewarded

In G-League play McRae is currently averaging 31.4 PPG on 48.4 percent shooting from the field, 35.1 percent from three and 84.2 percent from the line.

The 27-year-old Tennessee Volunteer product is still currently searching for a traditional NBA contract and consistent minutes at the NBA level.

In games played under a two-way contract McRae has seen roughly 9 minutes a game in a Wizards uniform. His production in the G-League should earn him more minutes in Scott Brooks’ rotation as the season starts to wind down.

The man has been about a bucket all year and it would be a shame if the Wizards are unwilling to find a bigger role for a player with an effective all-around offensive skillset.

Go-Go fall 119-135, McRae pours in 44 points.

Wizards Sign Jordan McRae To Multiyear Deal

R.I.P Washington Wizards

Life comes at you fast. If you were an avid Wizards fan during the Wall-Beal era this past week has been an emotional rollercoaster ride that has ended up foreshadowing the beginning of what looks to be a long rebuilding process. This abrupt ending to what looked like a team on the rise is WITHOUT A DOUBT the worst case scenario I could have come up with if you were to ask me “Where do you think the team will be after the Eastern Conference Semifinals in 2017?”

Exactly 2 years ago the Wizards were 31-21 and had just capped off a 17 game home winning streak only a few days prior (The longest since 1975). The team rode that wave into a 49 win season and a thrilling playoff run. Optimism was high, John Wall sent the team to Game Seven in Boston with a cold-blooded game winning three. Everything was headed in the right direction until Kelly Olynyk caught fire for 26 points to clinch the series and little did we know it was the beginning of the end.

Since the Olynyk snafu the Wizards have consistently played down to the level of their competition. They have also dealt with numerous injuries including one to All-Star John Wall that changed the focus of the organization and looks to be the incident that sparks a new rebuild. The once promising lineup that was primed to compete as one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference has now vanished. All we can hope for now is luck in the lottery.

It’s all downhill from here

Tanking is hard to do

“Tanking” for an improved draft position is a tactic that has a deep rooted history in the NBA. Many NBA fans have seen year after year where teams such as the Philadelphia 76ers and the Cleveland Cavaliers reap the benefits of displaying an almost unwatchable product on the court in return for a top tier draft pick. So when Perennial All-Star John Wall opted for a heel surgery that would sideline him for 6 to 8 months it looked certain that Washington was due for a steep decline down the standings.

Emergence of young talent

One of the most overlooked aspects of “Tanking” is the simple fact that the individual rewards to players who ball out (even on losing teams) are just too great. The first person who comes to mind is Bradley Beal. Beal is signed through the 2021 season and he has stitched together several Herculean efforts over the past few weeks in order to help his 2019 All-Star bid. Just like the Emergence of Bradley Beal, young players like center Thomas Bryant are using this time to keep a roster spot in the NBA. These ulterior motives of players are some of the biggest obstacles for a franchise looking to tank its way to the top of the draft board.

#13 Thomas Bryant

Let’s get buckets

The District of Buckets. Where if it involves a basketball it will probably be mentioned in this blog. 

The Game….is all about….Buckets — Uncle Drew

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Since most of my twitter content is related to me harping on about basketball in all caps I decided to throw that energy onto a blog. Basketball is truly the most captivating sport in the world both on and off the court.

The main goal of this site is to analyze the sport at as many levels possible and look at the characters and major events of the game that make it so interesting.