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Page 4 of 7 pages
In D-League action, YouTube star and college avoider Aquille Carr looks like he might be a funhouse version of Nate Robinson. Only 20 and only 5-6 148, he's posting an insane usage rate for Delaware:
8 games, 115 min, 32-74 fg (43%), 9-20 3pt (45%), 26-39 ft (67%), 1 orb, 4 drb, 5 reb, 13 ast, 12 stl, 18 to, 0 blk, 16 pf, 100 pts
What's happening in Brooklyn?
If they want to go for broke - and they always do - a re-upped Lowry is their best PG next year, right?
With the curtain about to go up on The Last Chapter for the Mamba and the next chapter for Mike D’Antoni and Jim Buss, I wanted to make a few points about the team and about the various disagreements.
The performance of the team so far is an object lesson in coach evaluation. Last year, MDA was in a high-expectations situation that highlighted some of his weaknesses (personality management, minutes management, media interaction, adaptability) and he made some very questionable moves and then an All-Star center in his prime left the team in part because of him. This year, he is in a low-expectations situation that highlights some of his strengths, and Dork D’Antoni has become Magic Mike. Too often, we think of coaches as good or bad, instead of as having strengths and weaknesses. MDA is a good reminder of the flaws in that approach.
But now he has to deal with Kobe’s comeback. KB and MDA seem to have a pretty good personal relationship, due to the Team USA and Italy connections, but their philosophies about the game don’t match up well at all. Kobe is a slow-down, post-up, ball-stopping ISO guy who does not shoot 3s that well. MDA likes ball movement, PG dribbling if dribbling is to be done, fast-paced 3-driven O, and has said many times that he does not like post-ups. One reason the team is doing OK is that the perimeter D is better; Kobe was a big reason it was so bad last year. So, whether one loves Kobe, hates him, or is somewhere in between, and whatever one thinks of MDA, there will be very serious challenges for both guys here.
As to the FO debate, some of the most vocal of the FO apologists have spun the MDA hire as actually being due to Jerry Buss, not Jim, and have written off MDA’s problems with Dwight Howard and Carmelo Anthony as being due to the pampered egos of players who overrate their own skills and subtly kill teams. Others, OTOH, have taken these issues as strong indicators that MDA is not a “championship coach”, that he is a second-rate hack who lacks the gravitas to get buy-in from the NBA Elite and is not worthy to be head coach for this organization, given its long tradition.
IMO, the reality on MDA is somewhere in between. It is worth noting that D’Antoni’s best teams in PHX were led by Steve Nash, long noted and lauded for being one of the NBA’s most easygoing and unselfish stars. And it is a Talent League, and working with prime talent, and the various issues that sometimes come with that, is a part of the job and one MDA may not be good at. And no one was better at that than Phil Jackson. OTOH, between the injuries, the personalities, the bad perimeter D, the bad bench, the massive shadow of Phil, and Howard’s free agency, MDA was in a very rough situation last year, and the team did, after all, pull together enough to go 28-13 the second half. MDA critics should note that as well.
Going forward, the game has changed a little for MDA. There now seems to be some idea out there among Lakers fans that this is a playoff team after all, that adding Kobe to the gritty group of 3P bombers/hustlers may make this team a 6 or 7 seed. I do not know what will happen, but I do know that we are going to find out something about how good a coach Mike D’Antoni actually is and whether Jim Buss was right to make MDA and KB such central figures as he has.
Wow, D'Antoni called Pau out today. This is not going to blow over quietly, is it?
This is another topic, but I went to my first Brooklyn game the other day when they took on the Celts. I was struck by how diverse the crowd was. I don't think I have been at a sporting event in New York or anywhere else for that matter that has been that racially diverse. Obviously the demographics of Brooklyn in general contribute. Still, Manhattan is a racially diverse place and Knicks game don't show that. It's got me to thinking that I might jump ship from the Dolan #### show and root for a team that has done a better job of including more of the community around itself.
Pau has played awfully since Phil left. I think Pau is a very mercurial player. In the right context, he's a superstar. In the wrong context, he sulks, takes bad shots and disappears on defense.
Phil's job with Pau represents some of the best coaching I can think of. He was a superstar every year that Phil coached him.
So I was having dinner with my brother at a Sushi spot in Yorkville (Toronto) last night, which is known for celeb/athlete spottings due to it's proximity to the Four Seasons hotel. Anyways, as we are eating our delicious red carpet rolls and in walks what appears to be a 7 footer, folks. At first i think, "that isn't Aaron Gray, who the hell is that?" He sits down at the bar where the sushi chefs make the food and I see the owners pupils dialate as endorphins begin to flood his brain with adrenaline and excitement.
My bro and I finish our meals and I say to myself, **** it. This guy might be taller then I am and make alot more money but he's born in 1988; how can I be intimdated to say whattup to someone younger than me. I walk up from behind and rest my hand on his shoulder and whisper (so as to not bait him out to other patrons), "Hey Spence." His head immediately whips over his shoulder to see who was touching him and calling him Spence in a creepy tone. Seaweed salad was hanging from his lip, as he was mid-bite when I caused the head whip. He replied, "Oh hey man." And reached out for a handshake. I already had my fist out for a pound. It took a second for him to notice the awkward rock, paper, scissor hand gesture that was happening between us and so he quickly changed his paper gesture to that of a rock and gave me a pound.
I say, "Man, MCW was killllling it before he went down with an injury! Is it because he's super confident, really talented or both?" He replied, Ya man, I guess it's a combination of both. He's good." I then say, "Did you hear what Steph Curry recently mentioned? He said that if he had to choose any player of all-time to take a game winning shot it would be Jordan, then him, then everyone else...Lebron, Ray, Kobe, Bird. The kid's crazy but he's insanely good." He replied, "oh ya dude, that guy is rolling right now for sure."
At this point I look up and see the little Japanese owner of the restaurant staring directly at me with a deep #$!&@ jaw, as if to say "stop harrassing my celebrity customer." I look back down at Spence (down because he's sitting and I'm standing) and I ask him if he still keeps in touch with Brandon Roy, Nate Robinson or Quincy Pondexter?" He said, "Ya man, we still keep in touch via e-mail or text for sure." The conversation was dwindling at this point and I so i said to him, "why don't you roll out tonight. We have tons of girls rolling for a couple of bdays." He said, "Sure man, give me your number."
I gave him my number and got a text late from an unkown number with a Philly area code. It said, "Hey man, don't think I'm gonna make it tonight, got practice early tommorow so i'm gonna turn it in for the night." At this point i was in the bathroom at my place and had left my phone in my living room with my brother. I came out and saw my brother laughing hysterically, to the point where he couldn't breathe, was red in the face, veins were bulging in his forehead and his nostrils were flaring. I immediately rush to my phone to see what he'd done. In it I see the message that Spence had sent, followed up with a picture of my brothers testicles that he had sent him back in reply. I saw the 3 dots going at the bottom of the screen, indicating that Spence was replying and then it just went blank.
I wish I was making this up. What do you think he was going to reply and what do you think his reaction was to the testicle pic?
Take this with several grains of salt given the source, but operation appease J.R. Smith may not be going all that well.
Fifty-eight players have attempted at least 95 midrange shots, but nobody has made a higher percentage of them than Crawford. Here are the top five:
1. Jordan Crawford, 51 percent
2. Dirk Nowitzki, 50 percent
3. Stephen Curry, 49 percent
4. Tony Parker, 49 percent
5. Chris Paul, 48 percent
Couper Moorhead ?@CoupNBA 7m
LeBron has 30-9-9 on 75+ percent shooting tonight. Only five players have done that since 85-86: http://gohe.at/1bLBdSq
LeBron has 30-9-9 on 75+ percent shooting tonight. Only five players have done that since 85-86:
No kidding! No timeout with 6 seconds left? WTF?
Spencer Hawes with a -39 in 26 minutes. Impressive to hemmorhage 1.5 points per minute while on the court. I wonder what the worst plus/minus per minute ratio is, less than, say, -20 plus/minus
Amar'e is out indefinitely with knee problems.
Don't think it's been discussed much here but after last night's pounding of the Spurs, the Clippers are now up to 7th in defense and 4th in offense.
Not sure what the numbers say, but ISTM if you believe in "go to guy" and half court offense importance in the playoffs
The odds of getting a top 3 pick aren't good, but if they did, and still added another bottom lottery guy and Mirotic....I know what we're all thinking - DYNASTY.
That's right, we're talkin' a minimum eight-peat.
Moses is the new steagles
You know, Beas has been pretty good in a small sample circumscribed role this year.
Blazers : they've been extremely healthy so far,
"With Rockets determined to make Omer Asik deal within 48 hours, Hawks, Celtics, Cavs, 76ers most serious suitors, league sources tell Yahoo."
they're playing without cj mccollum. a rookie guard out of lehigh who hasn't played a game yet may not seem like a big loss, but he has the exact same profile that damian lillard had coming out of weber state, and i think he is almost every bit as good.
I am impressed with Aaron Gray (dude sets brutal picks)
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