NBA Report: Panic Button (Or No?)

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Words By Phlip

Yes, firing Mike Brown was a panic button maneuver. NOT hiring Phil Jackson was a bad move compounding the bad hire in the first place.Based upon the pool of available coaches that remained, Mike D’Antoni was the best available choice if only for the fact that important pieces of his roster respect him. 

D’Antoni’s brand of basketball has the least steep learning curve and the work that his starting players put into their own defense should have made the fact that he does not coach it a little less painful.  I get it; I see why he was hired and still think it can work out.

But the honeymoon is over… 

Losing to Orlando was one thing, but blowing a lead to lose to Houston was embarrassing to say the very least.  Wholesale fouling of Dwight Howard – who has missed more free throws this season (108) than the person with the next most misses (32), Blake Griffin, has even ATTEMPTED – was wildly effective as Houston shaved off of the lead with the clock stopped as Howard continued to embarrass himself.  D’Antoni seems to find himself in position where he is stuck in how to use his lineup, and that will assuredly get better when Steve Nash returns to do the thinking.  Kobe is leading the league in scoring out of necessity right now, and his shooting percentages suggest that he is not having a difficult time doing that.  I am not calling the Lakers dead in the water yet, but Steve Nash can’t POSSIBLY get back soon enough.

Speaking of embarrassing losses, Miami also dropped one to the league doormat.  Unlike the Lakers’ situation, though, there is no concern hiding in this.  Simply put, they shot badly, played down to their competition and apparently got caught looking past them to the Knicks game.  In other words, sometimes David actually beats Goliath in sports.  I am still picking them on their course to repeat.

Don’t look now, but I was right about Kevin Love…
He is not yet eligible to be listed among the league’s leaders in any statistical categories due to number of games played, but his current averages would have him 6th in the league in scoring and tied with Andersen Terwilliger Varejao to lead the league in rebounds.  Those are the MVP-contending numbers, but it is STILL in the hands of the team’s trainers in their getting Ricky Rubio back into effective playing shape.  I say that to say that NO ONE is winning the MVP from a team that does not make the playoffs.  Right now, they’re in 8th place in the conference and things can only stand to get better for them, but I am not of the opinion that the Lakers will NOT make a mad dash for the playoffs when Nash returns, and the same can be said for the Mavericks when Dirk is back, so it will remain to be seen.

Until then, LeBron James is still ahead in my MVP watch.

The Grizzlies are real, this is the first season of their 17 years that I have said that without following it with a punchline.  They have beaten the best of the best this year, they have won the games they’re supposed to win, they play a BEAUTIFULLY connected game and everyone seems to know their roles and play it well.  It STILL feels weird to be saying this about a team that once considered a 28-win season “good.”  I am letting time tell this one.

I do not agree with a quarter million dollar fine for Gregg Popovich doing what was best for his team’s long-term success.  I am not sure if the commissioner even WATCHED the game for which he levied the fine, because it was ACTUALLY one of the most competitive games of this young season.  Since DURING the game he expressed his dissatisfaction at the decision to rest 4 starters, it is sure to me that he didn’t much care that the “star power” that he so desperately thinks that every game should have didn’t make a huge difference in the first place.

“The New Orleans Pelicans,” marinate on that for a minute…
Word on the streets is that Michael is interested in bringing the Hornets name back to Charlotte – and as an NC native I would hate to see the Hornets’ name sullied by a Jordan-owned team –but, umm… What in the actual hell does a pelican have to do with New Orleans?  I miss the good old days where teams’ nicknames were related to the municipality in which they reside.

Games of interest this week will be the Lakers and Pelicans Hornets, Knicks and Heat, and Lakers against the Thunder.  As we reach the last month of Football season, we will see large televised Sunday games on ABC within the next couple of weeks and with the way my 49ers are embarrassing me, that will come none too soon.

As ever, we WILL be in the building to discuss the goings-on about the league.

Words By Phlip
@callmephlip

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One comment on “NBA Report: Panic Button (Or No?)

  1. DV says:

    D’Antonio isnt much better a choice then Mike Brown so far. Its more then X’s and O’s, you have to be able to “manage” all those personalities and egos. Phil Jackson had no problem sitting ANYBODY if they where playing bad or being a liability. Kobe is pretty much doing whatever he feels like right now. Nash coming back wont change that because if Kobe wants the ball hes gonna get it.

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