July 24, 2005

July 22, 2005

I feel for the Knicks fans, I really do

Now, as you've been reading, it may seem as though I hate the New York Knicks. This is certainly not true. Some of my very favorite moments in the NBA were courtesy of the Knicks. Reggie Miller showing love to Spike Lee, and Greg Anthony (no really, he just fell down). Isaiah "JR" Rider ruining a Patrick Ewing poster by rejecting a dunk. Those playoff series against Miami and Chicago and Indiana provided some great entertainment and certainly helped transform me from an avid NBA fan to a rabid one. "So Jake, why then do we read you ripping on the Knicks right and left?" Okay, that's a fair question, but my answer is even more so. It's not the New York Knicks NBA team that I'm ripping on, it's their complete idiot GM Isaiah Thomas that I'm ravaging. And for good reason. It's true that he inherited a bad situation; Mediocre talent and inflated, long-term contracts. Okay, so when Isaiah was brought onboard, we all knew he was going to make some drastic changes and put his face on the organization. But what he did was make the bad situation worse by going out and getting more and more inflated contracts. He's done such a shitty job with the team so far and it doesn't look to be getting much better (see previous rants as to why). One point that I think I need to nail home is his performance in this years NBA Draft. Specifically using their first pick (#8) on Arizona center Channing Frye. Now before I get going, I have nothing against Frye, he's a solid player. He's sound fundamentally, he's smart, and he seems like he's got a great character. But to draft a wire thin center at 8th is not a very good move.

"Frye is a very skilled low-post big man -- he's similar to Tim Duncan because he's so mechanically sound." - Matt Lawrence, Sportsline.com

Like Duncan, huh? That's a pretty big thing to say. Let's take a look at them statistically in college, since that's all we've got.

Tim Duncan's senior year stats
20.8ppg 60.8% FGs 14.7rpg 3.3bpg

Channing Frye's senior year stats
15.8ppg 55.4% FGs 7.6rpg 2.9bpg

Duncan was better in every category by relatively large margins. The glaring difference is in rebounding. Frye is supposed to be a supurb rebounder, but he didn't even average 8rpg his senior year. I realize at this point in their careers it's not fair to compare them because Duncan is one of the best players in the NBA, but we're trying to gauge where Channing's career will go, so for arguments sake, shut up!

Tim Duncan's rookie year stats
21.1ppg 54.9% FGs 11.9rpg 2.5bpg

Channings? We shall see.

He's not going to be another Tim Duncan, we all know that. Lawrence also goes on to say he'll be a dominant center in the league. No. He won't.

Marcus Camby's senior year stats
20.5ppg 47.7% FGs 8.2rpg 3.9bpg

Camby's stats from last season
10.3ppg 46.5% FGs 10.0rpg 3.0bpg

In college Camby was a better scorer and blocked more shots, oh and he also won the John Wooden Award in 1996. Camby took his Minutemen to the Final Four and lost to eventual champ Kentucky.

If Frye ends up with Camby stats in the NBA, the Knicks should consider themselves lucky.

Loren Woods' senior year stats
13.2ppg 50.4% FGs 6.5rpg 2.9bpg

Woods stats from last season
3.9ppg 43.3% FGs 4.9rpg .9bpg

Loren was painted as the next Tim Duncan before he transferred to Arizona. He was a solid player in college, but he was soft much like Frye is. I believe Channing will be a better NBA player than Loren Woods has been so far, but Woods was the 45th pick in the draft. He's allowed to fail, being a late second rounder. Channing will be held to higher expectations, being the 8th pick in the draft.

Here's a list of centers (and career stats) that were drafted between spots 6-10 since 1995.
Bryant Reeves #6 1995 12.5ppg 47.5% FGs 6.9rpg .8bpg - Retired after 2000 season

Lorenzen Wright #7 1996 9.6ppg 45.9% FGs 7.1rpg .8bpg

Erick Dampier #10 1996 8.9ppg 45.9% FGs 7.4rpg 1.6bpg - 54% FGs 10.4rpg last 2 years

Adonal Foyle #8 1997 4.6ppg 49.0% FGs 5.2rpg 1.9bpg

Chris Mihm #7 2000 7.6ppg 45.7% FGs 5.4rpg 1.0bpg

Joel Przybilla #9 2000 3.5ppg 53.3% FGs 5.2rpg 1.6bpg - broke out slightly last season

Desagana Diop #8 2001 1.6ppg 35.8% FGs 2.6rpg .9bpg - rarely plays

Nene Hilario #7 2002 10.7ppg 51.9% FGs 6.2rpg .7bpg - would play more elsewhere

Chris Kaman #6 2003 7.4ppg 48.0% FGs 6.1rpg 1bpg - improved last season over his rookie

Okay, so the centers taken in the range that Channing was taken have generally been complete failures, but where they failed, Channing should be better. Some of the guys on the list above have seen very few regular minutes in the NBA(Diop, Przybilla, Foyle), some have ended up in bad situations (Kaman, Reeves, Wright), and others have started to come around (Dampier, Nene). Frye should see more minutes than most due to the lack of centers the Knicks have at the moment. Although we know how well Larry Brown develops young players - see Darko Milicic - so that may have some effect on his minutes, assuming Brown takes that job. The Knicks are certainly in the class of "bad situations" like the Clippers and the then Vancouver Grizzlies(an expansion team), but there's certainly more talent in New York. Frye will benefit from Steph's ability to get into the paint a dish it out - he turned Dean Garrett into a starter - but of course that'll help only if Steph does that.

I know the Knicks needed a center, but Channing Frye is a big time stretch at the number 8 spot. I hate shoulda-woulda-coulda but it's so much fun. What happens if they take a shooting guard, say Granger, McCants, or Antoine Wright, and trade him to Denver for their pick(Julius Hodge) and Nene? Nene is more than servicable and would fit in with the New York tough.

Again, just an idea.

But alas, it's the Knicks, err....I mean Isaiah Thomas, so there's no point in hoping for a good decision, only a bold one.

I DO wish the Knicks luck this next season and beyond, but with Isaiah at the helm, I don't know if they're in for anything more than mediocrity.

July 20, 2005

The thing about NBA head coaches

What in God's name is happening in the NBA? The way head coaches are treating and treated by their respective teams is rediculous. Rick Carlisle wins 50 games for Detroit, fired. Flip Saunders takes the Wolves to the Western Conference Finals, then due to his players being bitches, he's fired. The Lakers chase Phil Jackson out of town, then bring him back a year later at $10 Million per. Larry Brown, who was the reason Carlisle was removed at Detroit, starts talking to Cleveland about their open GM position. While his team is battling for a championship! That obviously pissed off Joe Dumars and the Pistons, so they paid him his money(around $18 Million) and sent him on his way. Well, Cleveland lost interest and grabbed Danny Ferry to fill the GM spot, but now Isaiah "Idiot" Thomas is supposedly prepared to offer Brown $50-60 Million over 5 years.

There are things I understand and things I don't.

I understand why Rick Carlisle was let go. It wasn't because he was a bad coach, it was because the Pistons had an opportunity to get the best coach in the NBA (my humble opinion). Okay, shitty thing to do to Rick, but I understand why. I also understand why Flip Saunders was fired in Minnesota. He was fired because the team stopped responding to him, and there had to be some kind of change. Shitty deal for Flip, but I understand why the Wolves did it. I can even, on some levels, understand why Detroit is now throwing Larry Brown out the door (a rich, rich man). He was disloyal and a distraction to his players at the most important time of the season. That and they've got a great coach just waiting for a call in Saunders. Of course, on the other hand, I don't think it was such a good idea to give him his money to not coach, but hey, I'm not emotionally involved.

What I don't understand is what the Lakers and the Knicks are doing.

Two years ago, Shaq and Phil were tossed out of Los Angeles because Kobe didn't like them. Now Laker brass understands how important a great coach is to their team. So they're gonna pay the second best coach in the NBA (again, my humble opinion) $50 million over 5 years. Wow. What? Um, really Mitch? The story out of LA was that Kobe and Phil couldn't work together because Phil was tired of Kobes' ways and Kobe thought of himself as the star in Tinsletown. So what makes any of those guys think it'll work now? Sure, $10 million buys a lot of patience with bullshit, but is Phil really gonna be happy with a team that didn't make the play offs? Especially when the Lakers traded away a piece that Phil was excited about (Caron Butler to Washington)? Is Kobe gonna be mature enough to deal with a coach who knows what he wants from players and won't just let them fly off the handle bars? Will he be able to get his shit together like another superstar Phil helped win championships? On top of all that, will the team be good enough to even make a run? Probably not, but it remains to be seen.

Now the Knicks, shit, you've seen what I think about Isaiah Thomas and the Knicks. Every time I think they're done doing the rediculous, Isaiah steps up and sets me straight by doing something even more stupid. If you pay attention to the circus that is the NBA rumor mill, you are already aware of Larry Brown's history. He's got a short attention span and doesn't stay in one place for very long. So why, if you're an NBA GM, would you offer a guy like that a ton of money over more than a couple years? Why Zeke, why? Oh, right, because you're the Knicks GM and you're not very good at using your brain. Sorry, I almost forgot. $60 Million dollars spent on your head coach!? WHAT ARE YOU DOING?

Sorry, I got a little excited there.

It continues to amaze me how screwed up the coaching situation in the NBA is. Good coaches getting fired to hire great coaches, who then leave to supposedly retire, but get lured back into the league by ridiculous sums of money, only to be chased out of town by a superstar who's too self absorbed to realize that there aren't championship rings handed out without great coaches. It just such a cluster fuck I can't even stand it.

The nice thing I see on going on in the NBA coaching ranks is that a lot of young coaches are getting chances on good teams. Dwayne Casey in Minnesota, Mike Brown in Cleveland, and previously, Stan Van Gundy in Miami. They're all young coaches looking to make a name for themselves with good teams and good situations. Exhale......and now I'm calm.

July 13, 2005

The Ghetto Hall of Fame

Our first inductee to the Ghetto Hall of Fame is......

Los Angeles Clippers forward Chrisssssss Willllllcoooxxxxxx!

Wow, he didn't get to summer league on time because he was arrested on gun charges. Oops. Him and Alan Henderson are certainly having a hard time with those gun control laws.

July 11, 2005

5 idiots, 26 years, $357 million: A week in the life of rumors

As we approach the extravenganza known as NBA free agency, we begin to really see who's smart, who's stupid, who's lucky, and who needs to be locked in a closet and set on fire. Everbody does it differently. Some run around making offers to whoever will listen and hope to God they land someone. Others take every penny they can and give it to one guy who they pray will end up being God. Yet others sit on their thumbs. Some will spend to keep those players they already have. Others will tell their free agents to eat balls, and try to get everyone elses free agents. Everybody works it differently.

Somebody thinks Ray Allen is worth 5 years, $85 million. Fine. I could live with that. Somebody else thinks Larry Hughes deserves $65 million over 5 years. Um. Okay, sure, I guess so. There's a certain someone that really wanted to give Joe Johnson $70 million over 5 years, but instead forced someone else to pay him that much dough. Ouch. Then, there's someone who is dying to give someone $47 million over 5 years, on top of paying Michael Redd $90 over 6. Jesus.

That's 26 years, $357 million dollars. Ouch.

5 Idiots

5. Milwaukee Bucks GM Larry Harris. What the fuck are you doing Lar? You're going to give Bobby Simmons $9 million per season? I've got a few reasons why that's not a good idea. He needs the ball. Yeah. Other than Corey Maggette, Simms was the Clips only option on offense, and giving him a fat contract is only going to make him more greedy. Of course that's assuming he has more than one good season in him. Did you check the stats other than last season? No? Here. Great three years. Oh, and does anyone remember that at one point during last season - fairly late in the season - when Bobby was above 50% from the floor? What does that tell you? Shut up, I'll answer that! It tells you that as he got more minutes and more success, he wanted more, forced himself more. What results did this yield? worse shooting, less scoring. Oh sure, McGhetto game back, but seriously, your shooting percentage shouldn't go down. Another thing this man is doing is giving Michael Redd a max deal. WTF again!? Now, don't get me wrong, I love Michael Redd. He's a hell of a shooter, and a good all around player, but $90 million? I'm sorry, I can't stomach giving him Garnett and Duncan money. He's not that good. Bobby Simmons is overrated, Michael Redd is overpaid, and Larry Harris is an idiot.

4. Brian Colangelo, GM, Phoenix Suns. What!? How could you say that? He was responsible for Amare Stoudemire! He got Steve Nash! His pick ups took his team to the brink of the NBA Finals!! How does he end up on your list of idiots?! Shut up Suns fan, I'll tell you why. He signed Steve Nash, who's 31 by the way, for 6 year and $65 million. that's too much money for too many years. Yes, Steve Nash won the MVP and he deserved it, but did you see what happened when he sat out those 4 games early? No? The Suns didn't win. They reverted back the 29 win team of a year before and looked stupid doing it. The Suns are one Nash inury away from another cellar dweller season. Now, Mr. Colangelo is rumored to be matching the Hawks 5 year $70 million offer on Joe Johnson. Really? Fucking Joe Johnson gets $70 million? How quickly one forgets that he was a money matching piece in the Penny Hardaway trade. Now, again, I like Joe Johnson, I think he's a great player to have on your team. He's a proven scorer and showed last year that he can handle the ball as well. But $70 million? He's definately a better option than Q, but again, I can't stomach paying him $14 million per season. I hope Colangelo's got a plan for re-signing Amare Stoudemire, because he's much more important to the Suns than Joe Johnson is. Stamped: Idiot.

3. Antoine Walker. I know, not really a surprise, but I didn't want anyone forgetting about him. He's trying to work out a sign-and-trade deal because he feels he's worth more than the midlevel exception. Really 'toine? Where? Boston? Ha! Stop it, that's not funny - anymore. Dallas? Whoops, fucked up there didn't you. Atlanta? Seriously, I'm trying to be serious. Walker is a good player, assuming you want your power forward to spend more time at the top of the key than your point guard, shoot more than your #1 option on offense, and turn the ball over more than a college kid flips his couch cusions. Oh, and pay more than $5 million per season for? No thanks. I've got one guy in mind that might be stupid enough to do it...

2. Isaiah Thomas. Yeah, he'd do it, he's thinking about it. Remember Jamal Crawford? Future starting 2-guard in New York? I mean Steph and him the backcourt may seem like a good idea, but in truth they're the same fucking player. Both have yet to see a shot they don't like or a teammate they do like. Okay, so now let's go get Quentin Richardson. He's a bigger version without the passing skills. Q is, not to mention a former Clipper, a one dimentional player that only worked in Phoenix because Steve Nash is the second best point guard in the NBA. Stephon doesn't pass. I know, 8 assists per game, but I bet if you look into his shot-to-pass ratio it'd show the true story of the Wunder-idiot from New York. So now we've got three guys who want to do nothing but shoot. Okay, but as long as we have some rebounding, we should be able to get away with it, right? Sure, in theory, but there's a problem. Your staring PF and C this season is going to be Malik Rose and Channing Frye. "Wait, what happened to that Nazr guy?" Oh Isaiah got Malik for him straight up. Nice work. "Yeah, but KT is still around, right?" Sorry, wrong again. He's how Isaiah picked up Q. Wow, so now we've got a "great" backcourt, but NOTHING ELSE! "Yeah, but Frye man, he was goood in college." Sure, and I bet that Herb Williams is praying every night that Channing can atleast be half the player Marcus Camby was. Now Thomas has alienated his two star players (Marbury and Crawford) by signing another guard and the rumors are that he's trying to trade one of them, presumably Crawford, but who knows with Zeke. So now the Knicks are way over the cap, have too many shooters, no rebounds and limited passers. Good luck dumbass, good luck.

So you're saying to yourself, wow, Jake just layed into Isaiah really hard and he was only number two, that number one has got to be a doozy. Well for most this will probably be a let down, although not on this site, with these fans. I'm talking about a certain idiot, or group of idiots, that us Wolves fan love to hate almost as much as we love seeing them getting obliterated every time they get into the post season.

1. Denver Nuggets. I know, applaude for a minute, but then settle down cuz I have something of significance to say. So the Nuggets think they're a step away from being a consistant contender. One little piece from championship glory. Kiki and Karl need a shooting guard. They need someone who can compliment Carmelo Anthony on both ends of the floor. Okay. So why is it then, that you can't attract the top end guards? Because you don't have money? No, that's not really it. Because they don't want to play in Denver, Colorado? No, who wouldn't want to be in Denver, it's a georgous city and it's relatively mild in terms of the weather. Okay, so why is it then that they won't sign? Is it maybe because they don't see you as a contender any time soon?Yeah, I think it is. Michael Redd and Ray Allen, I can understand because they can get more money over a longer period. What about Larry Hughes? Sure, I'd rather play alongside LeBron and Marshmellow anyday. So that leaves the Nuggets trying to sign Cuttino Mobley. Okay, he's a solid option. But they won't give up Nene. What!? I know Nene is a decent player, but does he play much? Camby and Kenyon Martin eat up most of the minutes at the 4 and 5 spots. Elson and Najera will be eating up minutes at the forward spots as well. Okay, you've got good depth at center and forward - relatively speaking - but you've got a guy who blew out his achillies tendon and no one else at the 2 guard. So why not go get Mobley? Oh, right, you're the Denver Nuggets. So your next best option is Ronald "flip" Murray. If I have to explain why that's a bad idea then maybe you shouldn't read here anymore. Here's a guy who, when he's the only option, can score as well as anyone, but once he was moved to the 2nd option, he turned into an idiot. It pains me to say it, but they should've kept Jon Barry. The Nuggets are idiots and the only thing they have going for them is George Karl, and well, look what he did in Milwaukee: Got them oh-so-close to the promised land, then got chased out of town for being a douche bag.

Why I'll Re-Up My 10 Game Package Like A Masochist This Season

What the hell were we thinking?

Did it really happen that way? Were the Timberwolves actually favored by many to win the NBA championship last year? Did Potsy really put down 50 dollars at 2-1 odds for the Wolves to win it all? How in the christ did that happen?

And now, look at us. After last season, we're broke and beaten, starved and confused. Spree is probably gone. Sam Cassell doesn't look like he wants to try at basketball anymore. Michael Olowokandi would play basketball, if it wasn't for that extra 10,000 volts coursing through his system (hey, you'd go back into the club for that sweatshirt, too). Eddie Griff was last seen popping shots from the perimeter, and no, we're not discussing basketball right now. And then there's the ever-whining Molly Szczerbiak. He whines off the court (all the talk about getting traded so he can get a "fresh start"). He whines on the court (clapping his hands like a jackass when he's open. Hey Wally, a lil tip for you; Sam Cassell isn't going to pass the ball to you, ever, so you might as well kill the monkey shines impression).

But then there are beacons of light. Bright, shining stars who's illumination sparks the Target Center and floods it with a magestical glow.

One of them is Kevin Garnett. He's the best basketball player on the planet. Probably one of the best of all time. He could tell me to sell drugs to 6 year old kids, and I'd do it. I mean, it's KG.

Another one is Mark Madsen. Ol' Dirt Dog, don't mean to be rude. I hope he plays for us next season. He's got the whole package. Note: In this instance, "the whole package" means "a desire to rebound, which is strangely lacking from anyone else on the team besides KG".

Another is Fred Hoiberg. I love the Mayor. I mean, seriously. Almost disturbingly, when you stop and think about it, which I rarely do. Eventually, Mr. Jacobvon is going to author an article called "Why Fred Hoiberg Kicks Your Goddamned Ass - A Play Told in 99 Acts", and it's going to be superb.

Of course, they had to saw open his sternum to correct an aneurysm in his aorta, which is just super! Get well soon Fred. Because without you, I have no center. You complete me.

The last shining star on the team could be Rashad McCants. Let's see, can he drive to the basket? Oh my god! What, he doesn't just dribble up the court and pop a shot as soon as he gets to the three point line like a certain point guard (I'll give you a hint, it's actually two guys. Their names start with "S" and "T" and end with "am Cassell" and "roy Hudson", respectively). And he doesn't just "ole" opposing guards past him into the lane for a free open shot? Amazing! He's like Spree, only he's trying!

Of course, he could end up choking Dwane Casey after practice. That might be a letdown. But he's no Isiah Rider. Bank on it.

But, you know, I'm a glutton for punishment. I like my basketball like I like my father; abusive and hurtful. I like the infighting, the contract squabbles, the fired coach and the GM who looks like he would fit in better at a mortuary, and I don't mean as one of the employees. I guess I'm just glad the Wolves are interesting to watch. Because I watched Tod Murphy play. I sat through Thurl Bailey. I've snapped awake in the middle of the night, unable to get the image of The Brew out of my head. At the very least, it's fun to follow this team.

So yeah. Sign me up, Timberwolves. Let's get on this crazy wagon again and see what happens.

July 7, 2005

Disreputable People

Potsy said it best: "We all knew this was coming"

Eddie Griffin In Jail... Again


Well, I mean, it was fun when he went that entire season without going to jail once, wasn't it?

MVPs and NBA Champions

Being bored today I decided to look into the correlation between the Most Valuable Player Award and NBA Championship each season since 1955-56, the first year the MVP was awarded. In the 50 years the MVP has been awarded, 21 times has that player’s team gone on to championship glory. Those 21 championships are divided over 11 different MVPs. Of those 11 players, only 4 have done it more than once. Bill Russell, Kareem Adbul-jabbar, Larry Bird, and Michael Jordan have all won both awards at least two times. Jordan and Russell each completed the feat 4 times.

To give you a better understanding of how amazing a feat that is, let’s delve into this subject a little deeper. First I tried to find a pattern, to see if the development of the NBA has had any effect on the frequency of The Feat. I started by dividing the decades and figured the percentage of MVPs to win the Championship.

Percentages By Decade
50's - 20%
60's - 60%
70's - 30%
80's - 40%
90's - 60%
00's - 20%

As you can see, the results are sporadic at best, revealing no real trend developing. It goes up, it goes down, and is generally all over the place. So after mulling this over for awhile I decided to take a look at each individual player that won the MVP. How many MVPs did they win? How many Championships? This shed a little more light on the subject.

As stated above, 11 different players have won the MVP Award and the Championship in the same season. In the 50’s it was Bob Cousy. The 60’s Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlain, and Willis Reed accomplished it. The 70’s were owned by Kareem Abdul-jabbar. It was Larry Bird, Moses Malone and Magic Johnson in the 80’s. We all know what happened in the 90’s when Michael Jordan ruled the show, but he did share the stage with Hakeem Olajuwon and Shaquille O’neal. Tim Duncan is the only player, so far, to accomplish the feat in the 21st Century. Okay. So how does this correlate with the percentages? Let’s take a look.

The 50’s and 00’s are hard to use, as they only include 5 season apiece thus far. So take them out. Now we’re down to the 60’s thru 90’s, some may say the hay day of the NBA. Look at me rhyme! Sorry, I’m easily excitable. So we look at the 60’s and the 90’s, wow, 60% of the time the MVP won the Championship too! Look at the list above, and that all makes sense. There were great players in each of those four decades. The 60’s, 80’s, and 90’s all had multiple players to win both. Hmmm….It can’t be that simple though, can it?

If you’ll recall from above – well, way above now - that there are only 4 guys to ever do it more than once. Russell, Kareem, Larry, and MJ. Celtics, Bucks/Lakers, Celtics(again), and Bulls. 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, 90’s. Aha! I think we’re onto something!

It seems that the correlation between MVPs and NBA Champions lie solely in the hands of game changing players. The four guys who’ve done it more than once, changed the way the game was played. Bill Russell showed the game how important a dominant big man can be, as he won the Championship 4 times out of 5 in the years he was the MVP. He was a freak of physical nature at the time, like Shaq is now. He was bigger, stronger, and tougher than any other player in history to that point. Oh, and did you know Red traded Ice Capades for his draft rights? Yeah, that’s a hell of a deal.

As the game grew into the 70’s, many understood how important a big man really was. Kareem showed them all that they didn’t really understand. He also showed us what happens when a big guy with an unstoppable move changes his name – and team. Lew, good ol’ Lew. The Lakers rebuilt themselves into one of the great franchises in NBA history around Kareem, and he rewarded them with dominant play for years.

By the time the 80’s rolled around, the key to an NBA Championship seemed to be having better athletes than the opposition. Moses Malone picked up where Kareem left off, and Magic Johnson showed us how great it is to have a big, athletic guard too. Larry Bird defied logic. Here’s this tall, awkward looking kid from Indiana who can’t get but 3 inches off the floor. And he crushed the league. Larry, along with Magic, showed the fans that you don’t need to be a better athlete, you just need to be smarter and work harder than your opponent. Larry won three MVPs in a row, capturing two titles in the process. All that from a blue collar, country kid out of a town named French Lick.

Towards the end of the 80’s we were shown another freak of nature in Michael Jordan. The kid could score on and jump over anyone. Anyone. He, much like Russell, showed us how important a dominant big man is be to a championship team. Or isn’t. In a stretch of 8 seasons, MJ captured 6 rings and 4 MVP trophies. At the 2-guard spot.

Each of these players dominated their respective decades by changing the way the game had to be played. Obviously these were not the only players that changed the game while they played, but they were the only players to ever win the MVP and Championship in the same season, more than once. Now do you understand how ridiculous it is to repeat an MVP/Championship season?

Correlation concluded.

Nate McMillan And The Sex Change Band

So Nate McMillan is going to coach Portland. Well, that's just outstanding.

The coaching situation in the NBA looks more fucked up than a cup of maxwell house made with honey instead of water. And believe me, that's pretty fucked up. I know from experience, dude.

In Dennis Rodman's book As Bad As I Wanna Be, he described playing for Bob Hill and Gregg Popovich in San Antonio, and compared them less than favorably to Phil Jackson. In fact, as I remember it, Dennis spent nearly an entire chapter dressing down Popovich because he didn't understand how to treat NBA players and ran his team like a bunch of middle schoolers.

Now, far be it for me to take Dennis Rodman's word as gospel, but I think he was on to something. Popovich's first season in San Antonio, they were 20-62. Luckily, the shitty record landed them Tim Duncan, then they started to win titles and stuff.

The point, Jack, is that I don't think you can say unequivically that Gregg Popovich is a better coach than Nate McMillan. Or Flip Saunders for that matter. As far as I see it, Phil Jackson and Larry Brown are the tops of NBA coaches. They make up the two coaches that I think can have immediate impact on a team, and they have proven themselves capable of out-coaching their opponents in big games. Yes, Popovich is a good coach. And so is McMillan. That's why I don't understand this horseshit coaching carousel. You mean to tell me that Seattle thinks they can do a better job next year with someone else at the helm? That they succeeded beyond anybody's expectations, including their own, and they get rid of their coach? Who is out there? Who can coach the Sonics next year? And why is Kevin McHale so unsmart?

See, the thing is, this whole "change of voice" thing is just horseshit. I won't comment on the condition of "today's atheletes" because I think that's better left to the big-circle-shaped-mouths on sports TV shows, but I will say that coaching is not determined by how motivated your players are. I think coaching should be judged where everyone else is judged: on the court. I can't remember a time during a Lakers or Bulls game when Phil was coaching that I thought "Holy shit, what is Phil doing?!?!?" But I've thought that a lot about Rick Carlisle. And he almost went to the finals.

And to wrap up this seriously long, stupid rambling, I will say that I hope Dwane Casey is a good in-game coach. I think that's always a risky thing when hiring an assistant from another team. Can he adapt to what the other team is doing in the course of the game? I mean, who gives a fuck if Sam is whining or Eddie G needs a timeout so he can readjust his tracking bracelet? I only care about what happens on the court, and Dwane needs to focus on the most important part: playing the game. When coaches start to be heralded as "great" because they let Manu Ginobili run buck-wild and just throw it in to Tim Duncan so he can bank another one off the glass, well, good for them. Maybe within the context of their team, they are great. And that's why letting McMillan go is kind of stupid. He was a good coach in that system. Maybe not great, but definitely good. And now there's going to be a whole new coach, who might change the chemistry of the team, and they might return to sucking, which I, as a Wolves fan, know all too well about.

Please, answer me: why is Kevin McHale so unsmart?

Seriously...

So I've been reading a series of articles on Sportsline.com regarding this years free agency crop, all by position. I got to the small forwards and was a bit surprised. They have Eddie Griffin listed as a Small Forward, when in reality he's a Power Forward. Anyways, here's the bit

"2. Eddie Griffin, Minnesota: It might surprise you to see Griffin's name so high on this list, but when you talk potential reward, his upside is off the charts. Personal baggage ruined the start of his career, and as far as No. 5 overall draft picks go, he's been a disappointment. That, however, looks to be water under the bridge. Griffin had a strong season coming off the bench for the Wolves last season, showcasing a versatile game that combines strong post skills with a deft shooting touch from the perimeter. He's still maturing, but if I'm a GM willing to make an investment on an unpolished gem, Griffin's my primary target. Minnesota can match any offer he receives."

Okay, now don't get me wrong, I like Eddie Griff, he WAS a gem for a us at times last year. But to say he has a "deft shooting touch" from the perimiter? What the fuck? Fred Hoiberg has a deft shooting touch, but Griff? Unless 'deft' means likes-to-shoot-far-more-often-that-he-should, then it certainly does NOT apply to Eddie Griffin. Sure, he set the Wolves record for 3's made in a game, but he did that setting the record for attempts in a game. 32.8% does not qualify for 'deft' long range shooting. Sorry Eddie, I like your game, but you're not a strong shooter from the outside.

July 1, 2005

Denver

Well, I'm off to Denver. When I get back, I hope to see this blog blown up with 500 new members and maybe some animated gifs of chicks dancing around. That would be nice both going and coming back.

Denver is a place for people who have, as yet, failed in their attempts to grow a mustache. If you look at Carmelo Anthony, you'll see the faint shadow of a mustache, but nowhere near a full thickness. And, I mean, their owner? Wow.

So for all these reasons and more, I would just like to say that there ain't no air in space.

But there is, definitely, an air and space museum.

Have a good life, fucks!

Emminant Needs Part I - Point Guard

Obviously after last years debacle of a season, there are areas in which the Wolves are going to have to improve. I will try to tackle each of these as we approach training camp and the season. In this episode, I'll tackle the Point Guard situation.

Point Guard


Starter

Yes, Sam Cassell had a great year two years ago, and he battled injuries all of last season, but face it; he ain't getting any younger. He certainly didn't help quell the problems in the locker room last season, recently it's come about that he was a major contributor, and that's NOT supposed to be what "savvy" verterans do. His status with the team will be in questio this year, if not by the team, then by us, the fans. He's in the last year of his contract which can mean one of two things - or both.

1)He's in a contract year so he's going to be at his best, assuming he'll be playing for another contract elsewhere and return, atleast part way, to the form he led the Wolves to the Western Conference Finals.

2)He'll continue to whine and complain about his lack of a contract, and continue to be the cancer he was last season

Although option 1 looks to be MUCH better than option 2, option 2 isn't as bad as it may seem. With Sam in the last year of his contract and that contract is not very big, he'd be very attractive to a team that's looking to clear cap room for the next season. I think the Wolves would rather have option 1, but as a fan - of both the Wolves and Sam - I certainly look at option 2 as viable.

Bench

As for our backup situation at PG, I'm less optimistic. The Wolves clearly made a mistake signing Troy Hudson to the contract they did. We all WANT to see the T-Hud that wreaked havoc on the Lakers in the playoffs three years ago, but what we're GOING to see is more of what we did last season when he was healthy. He's a shoot first guy, who was not capable of running Flips offense last year. Yes, I know, Flip isn't around anymore, but there's nothing Troy has done that shows me he'll be any different. "But Troy would be more suited to a run and gun offense like Dwayne Casey had in Seattle." Wrong. The guys the Sonics had distributing the ball were smart players who can pass (Luke Ridnour and Ray Allen). Troy is neither of these. As stated above, he's a shoot first guy, who is only capable of looking for HIS shot, not the BEST shot. He's turnover prone and is more capable of disrupting an offense than he is of running one. If there were any way to get rid of him, the Wolves would be wise to do so, but who in their right mind would take Hudsons' game AND his contract?

As for the rest of the back-ups, it's been a tough road. Darrick Martin, Keith McLeod, Anthony Carter, and at times Fred Hoiberg. Last year Carter occasionally showed flashes of "brilliance," and I say that keeping in mind he was the third-string point guard. He's a very good defensive player, he's tough, and he makes few mistakes. On the other hand, I think he shot 50%, for the rim. Teams could leave him open every time down the floor, because he couldn't hit the broad side of a barn. Albeit, as the back-ups back-up he wasn't expected to score. Carter was an emergency guy incase one or both the other two guys went down, so I don't fault him for his contribution, because he was asked to do more than he was capable.

Overall picture

The Wolves NEEEED help. With their starting point guard a big question mark, and their back-up a waste of space, they need to do something about that position. Bracey Wright may be able to fill in, but I have a hard time putting too much faith in a 2nd-round draft pick. There aren't too many free agents out there that would help greatly, but there are a few.

Damon Stoudemire probably leads the list of free agent point guards, but it's hard to say how much money he's going to want - that and there are a few teams that would be willing to pay him more than the Wolves could, or would.

There are some older guys available as well. Kenny Anderson, Doug Overton, Darrick Martin, and Brent Price are all available, but I don't think the Wolves need to get any older.

Some guys that you may see get a shot: Smush Parker, Jamison Brewer, John Gilchrist, Marcus Taylor.

Unless there's a trade I don't really see the Wolves helping themselves out too much at Point Guard through free agency, but then again, nobody wanted Fred Hoiberg or Trenton Hassell and look how well the turned out. For McHale's sake, I hope they get it fixed, because frankly he's on his last leg.