WordPress says that the last Handle podcast I did with the great Chuck Mencel was published on January 30, 2019. To me it feels like that happened years ago…
Sudden work opportunities in my home country of Latvia just appeared one after another to the point where the free time I used to have for podcasting and producing highlights now is used for all kinds of basketball-related gigs here. Meanwhile, ideas of producing content on NBA history constantly have been postponed.
The coronavirus has had something to say about it. Without any basketball games left to announce on TV (or without any sports in general), in the blink of an eye I returned to a life where I only have my main job and actually some free time as well.
Since the inspiration has never been lost, for a temporary period I’ll return to producing highlights. Hopefully there are people out there who will thus be able to fill their basketball-sized void. Next up for the podcast, however, is ordering a better microphone. That should be the motivation to return to some interviews with former players.
Overall, the goal is to work on bigger projects (like charting Kareem’s sky hooks across one playoff run) so all the effort would result in something more worthwhile than just another video or conversation. Those are cool. Yet with less time available, I should probably pick my wisely. Time will tell whether those plans actually come to fruition.
For now, it will probably be some more simpler video ideas that have gathered dust for years, in some cases.
Thanks to each one of you who has reached out during the last year and asked whether the podcast and the YouTube channel will continue to live on! As well as, please, stay safe! Hope that everyone of you is doing alright.
On some level I hate to do the unnecessary breakdowns of NBA statlines that I have previously written on Nick van Exel’s 23 assists (at best there were 17) or Shaq’s 15-block game (more like 10). They ruin dreams. Yet this game leaves me no other option than at least mentioning the fact that six blocks here are a bit dubious.
0:28 is Morris Peterson maybe barely touching the ball, same goes for Keon Clark at 0:49 and Vince Carter at 1:12. Then the referees – for whatever reason – resolved Clark’s goaltending at 1:37 with a jump-ball (which Toronto won). Moreover, at 2:20 the first shot by Mottola is also counted as blocked by Carter and Keon Clark gets one more at 2:42.
So it’s more like 17 blocks which isn’t the NBA record anymore (New Jersey had 22 against Denver in 1991). However, can we be sure that the Nets scorers table didn’t cook the books that night as well? Out of the nine times an NBA team has reached 20 blocks eight occurred at home, per basketball-reference. Seems fishy… Therefore this NBA record you, perhaps, have to take with a grain of salt.
Keon Clark guaranteed two NBA records in one night. First off, the former Raptor holds the NBA record for most blocks in a game without a personal foul. Second off, the Toronto Raptors as a team blocked 23 shots.
However, I don’t want to rain on Keon’s parade. This truly was an awesome performance in which the four-headed monster of Alan Henderson, Nazr Mohammed, Cal Bowdler and Hanno Mottola were fast to reach the conclusion not to attack Keon Clark’s paint. He definitely prevented them from scoring on numerous other occasions and to do so without fouling even once is pretty unique. Too bad the Raptors couldn’t orchestrate another triple double by gifting him two more rebounds as they did with Alvin Williams the same night.
If you wanted to see what prime Vince Carter looked like, no one would ever suggest watching highlights of him in a late March game against the lottery bound 2000-01 Atlanta Hawks. Yet in some way I think this game shows perfectly what prime Vince was like. Carter goes for 29 points (11/14 FG), 4 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals and 4 blocks while seemingly not breaking a sweat. 18 of those points he already had early in the second, so he could spend time trying out risky passes, seeing whether he could keep Jason Terry from ever scoring a basket and just generally trying out every highlight dunk he could think of.
Alvin Williams’s first and only pro triple-double comes with a packed statline of three steals and two blocks. The last rebound was of the “he needs one more” kind, yet in the situations I totally support it. The win is guaranteed, you haven’t notched in one your career – go for it. The performance itself was a nice mix of Williams pushing the pace and helping the Raptors totally dismantle the Hawks from the very first minutes.
Hanno Mottola made history back in 2000-01 by becoming the first Finn to play in the NBA. Both Drew Gooden and Erik Murphy are sons of American fathers and Finnish mothers, so they have Finnish passports, and then there’s Lauri Markkanen.
What you should know is that the broadcast didn’t show the second free throw that Mottola also made. What you shouldn’t know is that he went 2-for-10 from the field and is featured prominently in videos of Keon Clark blocking 12 shots, while the Raptors team as a whole collected 23 blocks, an NBA record.
Georgia Tech’s Dion Glover who spent almost five seasons with the Atlanta Hawks could have been called a power guard. Glover – 6-5 and 228 – had a liking for going through guys who stepped in his path. Probably what made him a good BIG3 player. The Hawks lost by 26 in this game, yet Glover somehow ended up with a +5 in 29 minutes played.