2 Chainz beat Dominique Wilkins in HORSE & basically owns Atlanta now

2chainz

Tonight is the night we’ve all been waiting for. After announcing that he’s the new CEO of the Atlanta Hawks, 2 Chainz is scheduled to host “2 Chainz Night’ tonight. A promotion that sees the ATL rapper scheduled to introduce the Hawks, HAM it up with the team and also sell some awesome 2 Chainz Hawks merch.

Vin Diesel once said “It’s not how you stand by your car, it’s how you race it.”

Tonight, 2 Chainz definitely played under that mantra as he basically became the only story of the night in Atlanta by defeating Dominique Wilkins in a game of HORSE. (oh yeah, there was a basketball game between the Hawks and the Heat)

The challenge happened before the Hawks and Heat took to the court and 2 Chainz OWNED ‘Nique. Look… I’m not a doctor, but I think this basically means that he now runs the entire state of Georgia.

Most underrated part of the whole thing was at the end, as captured by Robby Kalland of FanBuzz when 2 Chainz was counting his winnings in front of ‘Nique and also waving the notes in his face… Like a boss.

The 2 Chainz, basketball legend aura doesn’t stop there. Prior to the game in his pre-game press conference, therapper also called out Shelvin Mack saying that he’d be able to beat him one-on-one:

After the number he did on the greatest Atlanta Hawk of all-time in a game of HORSE… I’m also actually backing 2 Chainz to take that out.

We’re not telling porkie pies… Steven Adams’ second BancFirst ad is awesome

So after Steven Adams’ first BancFirst commercial dropped earlier on this month, we already came to the conclusion that no one else in Oklahoma would be banking anywhere else.

Well, this week his second commercial was launched and we’re proper stoked it did. I’ll be super chuffed if a third one comes out.

via: Thunder Obsessed

The Little Wizard at the Wizards

By Roscoe Whalan

Lionel Messi has won a lot of things in his life, now he can add a chicken sandwich to the list.

Let me explain. On Wednesday night, the soccer superstar and his Argentinian teammates were at Verizon Center cheering on fellow countryman Luis Scola. And Scola, being the gentleman that he is, rewarded the team for their support, clanking two free throws in the fourth quarter, which at the Verizon Center means free chicken.

“It was fun. It was fun,” Scola said with a smile after the game, “I was glad to see them coming”.

Scola hurried off hoping to catch the team before they left – Croatian teammate Damjan Rudez was close behind yelling, “Messi!” as the pair fled the locker room.

They weren’t the only ones star-struck by the occasion; Paul George snapped a picture with The Little Master post-game as well.

While the Pacers pushed the Argentinian connection, the Washington wooed the Little Wizard by giving him a Wizards jersey, of course.

However, it was a meet and greet with a Washington legend that provided the photo of the night; the 5’7 Messi was introduced to former Washington Bullets Center Gheorge Muresan who stands at 7’7.

The Argentinians are in town ahead of a friendly with El Salvador on Friday.

Roscoe Whalan is a #BTHype US Correspondent & will be covering games across the East Coast, based in Washington for believethehypeNBA.com this season. Follow him on Twitter: @RoscoeWhalan7

A Dispatch from Washington D.C. aka Struggle-Town

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By Roscoe Whalan

“It’s no fun losing,” said Indiana coach Frank Vogel.

George Hill agreed.

The Pacers point guard scored 12 of his team-high 29 points in the final four and a half minutes on Wednesday night, including a game-winning lay-up with 2.7 seconds left in regulation.

“If they go with me, then I can hit David [West] on the pick-and-pop, which he’s very effective or if they bite on it to just drive and look for a lay-up and I tried to get the quickest lay-up I could possibly get to,” George Hill said about that shot to win the game.

It was lucky the Pacers even had the chance to win after burying themselves in a 10-point hole with just over six-minutes remaining.

“We started making a couple of shots, started getting a couple of stops on the defensive end and turned the game around and the guys built off of that,” Hill said.

For the most part, it was a game that looked like two teams that had lost their last 9 games combined.

The Pacers struggled out of the gates just hitting 25% of their attempts in the first quarter.

Poor Bradley Beal, who’s struggled to stay on the court this season, left the game during the first quarter after spraining his ankle and didn’t return.

For Indiana, losers of their past six games, the struggle’s been real.

“I’ve never been a part of this when you know, we’re on these long losing streaks and we’ve been pretty much winners ever since I’ve been here,” Hill said post-game.

Paul George still isn’t ready to return to the court, super-sub Rodney Stuckey’s injured and tonight, Roy Hibbert didn’t hit a shot but in the struggles of the Eastern Conference, the Pacers find themselves just a game outside of the eighth seed.

“It’s just a little bit of a microcosm of what we had earlier in the season. We got to hang around. We’ve got to weather the storm, we’ve got hang around and make a late push,” Coach Vogel said.

Fortunately for Indiana, their struggles aligned with a Wizards’ team that’s also got a case of the struggles.

Washington had dropped three-straight before this one and not even some John Wall heroics could stop it from becoming four.

Wall scored the Wizards’ first eight points in the fourth quarter (in just over 90 seconds)  — he had a game-high 34 points including 17 in the final frame.

“He’s awesome. He’s a nightmare to guard. One of the best point guards in the league. We’re fortunate to get a win…especially when he plays like this,” Vogel said.

The Indiana Pacers continue their struggle tomorrow night in Milwaukee against the struggling Bucks.

Meanwhile, the struggling Wizards host the struggling Charlotte Hornets who come to town Friday.

In the Eastern Conference the struggle is real.

Roscoe Whalan is a #BTHype US Correspondent & will be covering games across the East Coast, based in Washington for believethehypeNBA.com this season. Follow him on Twitter: @RoscoeWhalan7

Learning to win without Wes: Can the banged up Blazers still be a threat?

The Portland Trailblazers are battered and bruised, with what seems like an endless list of injuries. From LaMarcus Aldridge picking up some small but annoying hand injuries as well as Nicolas Batum and Chris Kaman both carrying minor complaints, all on top of the season ending Wes Matthews Achilles injury. Things do not look favourable for a team trying to get a roll on ahead of the playoffs.

Afflalo

Getty Images: Can Afflalo step up on the defensive end?

Despite the gaping hole left by Matthews at the shooting guard position on both sides of the floor, the Blazers, who have been able to get the most out of Aldridge and Damian Lillard in crunch-time situations, (see Rockets playoffs series), there is still a great deal of optimism in the group that they will be able to not only compete but still be a contending team in the West……that is if they can keep everyone out on the floor.

I spoke with Blazers big man LaMarcus Aldridge, via teleconference yesterday and with the All-Star power forward nursing a sore hand, he sees not only his injury, but the team’s ailments as an opportunity to increase their concentration on the small details as the margin for error is now much smaller. Aldridge noted, since he picked up his thumb injury a couple of months ago, he has been shooting the ball five-per-cent better from mid-range, something he puts down to a renewed level of concentration.

“I think the injury just makes me focus on my shot more because I have the tape on the hand so I think it makes me focus on my form more and since I’ve focused on my form, my shot has been better,” he said.

In terms of the Blazers team, that heightened concentration will have to come on the defensive end of the floor. Whilst their defense has been great through the firs two-thirds of the season, their recent four-game losing streak saw them struggle, especially on the perimeter defending the three, perhaps the area they are missing Matthews the most. Quite frankly the Blazers have been getting killed on the perimeter with Arron Afflalo in the starting line-up, something that will hopefully improve as he gets more time to absorb the information and learn the Blazers’ defensive strategy.

Going back even further, since the All-Star break, the Blazers defense has plummeted to 23rd in the league. Even worse, since the Matthews injury, they are rated as the second worst defense in the NBA, per NBA.com.

“Losing Wes is definitely tough because he’s a very competitive guy on the defensive end and he makes plays most guys can’t make on the defensive end,” Aldridge said.

“What we’ve done well since he’s been out is try to guard as a team more with more team defense and not relying on guys.”

This suits the Blazers just fine in that their defense hasn’t been heavily relied on one guy making big plays and getting stops. They are at their strongest when the team is defending in cohesion, staying in front of their man and providing great help defense.

When looking at Matthews’ injury, the saving grace that emerged via the trade deadline, however you want to look at it, was the acquisition of Afflalo. Although he isn’t the level of three-point shooter, nor defender Matthews is, he can provide for the Blazers a level of poise, leadership and experience as well as solid offensive contributions.

It’s going to be very important,” Aldridge said of the two-guard’s leadership and experience.

We need him to score and be a threat on the floor at all times. He scores in a number of different ways that should make us hard to guard in the playoffs and for the rest of the regular season.

“His confidence and his offense is going to be key for us going down the stretch, because we need him feeling good about the way he’s playing with us and have him in a really good rhythm so teams can’t key in on myself or Damian.”

Whilst the Blazers defense is struggling, their saving grace is that their offensive production is still where they want it to be, even more impressive given the addition of Afflalo into the starting line-up. Since the All-Star break, encompassing the deadline day move and the Matthews injury, the Blazers have had a top-five offence, averaging 106.4 points per 100 possessions, per NBA.com.

At times during the season, as well as during last season’s playoff run, there has been a bit of an over-reliance on Aldridge and Lillard on the offensive end. Matthews had eased some of that burden, but now it will be a combination of Afflalo and the Blazers bench being able to be called upon when the team is missing guys as well as in the playoffs when the double-teams get tighter and more frequent and the intensity elevates.

“I think our bench is a lot better than last year. C.J. [McCollum] came back a lot better than last year. He’s more poised, he’s figured out how he can get his shot off and how he can score,” Aldridge said.

“Dorell [Wright] wasn’t feeling as healthy last year. He was having some issues with some things last year, but this year, he’s been feeling more healthy, he’s been moving better, he’s been playing better. So I think overall our bench is better as far as experience goes for the young guys.”

Getty Images: Lillard and Aldridge must find a way to get the best out of their teammates.

Getty Images: Lillard and Aldridge must find a way to get the best out of their teammates.

The big issue for the Blazers is that you want to go into the playoffs on a roll, have all your pieces in place and healthy. The Blazers have neither of those things and finding the right balance is something that will challenge Terry Stotts’ roster and schedule management.

“You definitely want to get momentum and you want to have the team playing at a good rhyme and pace. But also you don’t want to win every game in the regular season and then go into the playoffs limping and not have full strength in the playoffs, Aldridge said.

“We’re trying to do both. Trying to make sure guys are healthy and ready to go. We’re also trying to keep a good rhythm so we go to the playoffs ready to go.”

With a four-games in five-nights run greeting them on their return home where they will face the Warriors first up, things aren’t getting easier.

If the Blazers are to steady the ship and make a legitimate run at the playoffs, they must correct the biggest thing that has gotten them into this position, their slick, team-first defense.

A lot of things have to go right for them, but what they do over the next two weeks will tell us a whole lot more about how legit they really are.

This Spurs “Too Many Pops” video is why the internet was created

toomanypops

Caleb Sanez over at Spurs blog 48 Minutes of Hell has created another pre-Playoffs Spurs video. This time, it’s a hilarious version of “Too Many Cooks” called “Too Many Pops”.

If you haven’t seen or heard about Adult Swim’s “Too Many Cooks“, basically, it’s a parody of 90’s sitcom intros… which seem to go on and on forever and get even more rediculous as they go along with the cast growing insanely big.

It also features footage of Patty Mills and Aron Baynes videobombing Julian de Stoop of Fox Sports which is the greatest NBA related moment to ever happen on Australian shores.

What’s your favourite moment that happens in the video? Let us know in the comments below!

H/T: That NBA Lottery Pick, via: 48 Minutes of Hell

2 Chainz now runs the Atlanta Hawks, deal with it

We all new that management changes were on the horizon for the Hawks and who better than 2 Chainz to take the reigns.

March 27th when the Hawks take on the Heat will be 2 Chainz night, where the ATL rapper will perform, do the player introductions and generally run the Hawks for the day.

It’s not quite Tinder night, it’s not quite Drake and OVO Raptors takeover, its even better.

As 2 Chainz remarks in the promo video [Hawks CEO] “Mr Koonin left me in charge for the day.” That means we also get the best ever piece of NBA merchandise ever created.

via: Eye on Basketball