NBA Week 12 - where Damian Lillard is washed

Mirror mirror on the wall, whom is the most washed of them all?

  • Dame Time is closing in on midnight

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Boomers legend Ben Simmons

    Votes: 2 13.3%
  • The Warriors

    Votes: 4 26.7%
  • The Lakers

    Votes: 4 26.7%
  • Kate Upton after a bubble-bath with our beloved moderator Northy

    Votes: 5 33.3%

  • Total voters
    15
  • Poll closed .

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May 23, 2012
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Tottenham Hotspur, New Orleans Pels
G'day, and welcome to the portion of the NBA season known colloquially as 'the grind'. No, not THAT one, Dwight - put the phone down, mate.

Now that the fun and festivities of Christmas, New Year and the Lakers' prestigious IST banner unfurling are over and done with, it's time for teams to get down to the business of winning basketball games, while also avoiding falling foul of the NBA's new participation legislation against resting players. Or if you're Detroit, Washington, San Antonio, Portland or Charlotte, losing games while avoiding falling foul of said participation legislation. Nobody ever said that life in the NBA is easy.

It's not just the players who get bogged down during the dog days of the season - others on the periphery, such as plebs tasked with writing tenuously basketball themed OPs for weekly threads for instance, get worn down too. If such a pleb happened to cynical and tacky, he might choose to fill in the gaps in the season with some cheap, tabloid-style gossip round-ups. Of course integrity demands that he do no such thing. Luckily I'm both cynical and devoid of integrity, so please enjoy a brief recap of some of the current beefs between players and coaches in the league this season.


image


It's important to grab your opportunities, if not your coach's neck, with both hands. Keep the lines of dialogue - and windpipes - open.



GOLDEN STATE

We'll begin in Saaaaan Fraaaaanciscooo, where lately it seems nobody is wearing flowers in their hair. Steve Kerr, who for his first five years with the Warriors had possibly the most stress-free NBA coaching job in history, suddenly finds himself putting out spot-fires everywhere.

He has been criticised - and recently offered a mea culpa, of sorts - for his handling of the Draymond/Poole punching incident, which has of course led to wider questioning of his handling of Draymond's antics in general. How much of that is warranted is up for debate, but it's certainly weighing on him.

Now it seems the youth in the Bay Area have risen up in revolt too. Jonathan Kuminga was apparently 'done' with Kerr after sitting the last quarter and a half as the Dubs blew a big lead against the Nuggets. That insurrection has seemingly inspired Moses Moody to attempt the same just hours later.

Meanwhile Wiggins has effectively been MIA for the better part of a year now - which in turn has exacerbated the Kuminga and Moody situations - while Klay has admitted to finding basketball demoralising of late too. And now both CP3 and Payton Jr are injured for the foreseeable future, all whilst the Warriors are struggling mightily to keep their collective heads above .500.

Frankly, if I were Kerr at this point I'd be tempted to eschew Scott McKenzie and just go full White Rabbit.



SAN ANTONIO

Speaking of veteran coaches used to serene waters, Kerr's old mentor and living legend Pop isn't having it all his own way during his autumn years either.

Recently Wemby has been chafing against the minutes restriction imposed by the team, while Pop has been hearing criticism about the way he has been employing the French phenom. Personally I'm inclined to chalk the latter down to impossibly high demands set by instant gratification junkies, but it's still notable that it's even a thing.

Of more substance is the criticism aimed at Pop for the ongoing Sochan point forward experiment. While there's nothing fundamentally wrong with trying stuff during a rebuilding period, it's a fine line between exposing young players to new situations and permanently damaging their self-confidence.

I doubt Pop will lose much sleep over any of it, and it'd be a surprise if Pop left on anything other than his own terms. Still, this is all a brutal reminder that it's no longer 2004, and conjures memories of Jerry Sloan vis-a-vis Deron Williams.


popvoteforpedro.jpg


If you vote for Sochan as your point guard, all your wildest dreams will come true.



SACRAMENTO KINGS

It seems bizarre that a coach who just broke a seventeen year playoff drought and has his small-market team currently just one game off back-to-back division titles would be doing anything other than planning the statue to be built for him in front of the arena, but here we are, Mike Brown.

Things are hardly horrible in Sactown, but there are a few small red flags appearing. The team has suffered some inexplicable losses, while Kevin Huerter has lost his starting job. Reportedly both he and Harrison Barnes are on the trading block as the Siakam rumours run hot and cold. Ditto former lottery pick Davion Mitchell, who was out, and is now temporarily back in the rotation. Meanwhile off-season mystery signing Sasha Vezenkov has likewise disappeared from the rotation, which is problematic for a 27 year old 'rookie' who is on a MLE level contract.

More ominously, Malik Monk and Brown got into a spirited discussion during the recent abysmal home loss to the short-handed Hornets. Doesn't really augur well for a continued collaboration with a key bench piece who is soon to be a free agent. Sounds like less beam lighting and more bridge building should be the priority for Coach Brown and the Kings at present.



NEW YORK KNICKS

A lot of the coaching names on this list are mildly surprising, but hey - you surely can't be shocked with this one...

Thibs has actually been on his best behaviour (well, relatively speaking) recently in the Big Apple. Sure he and Randle have butted heads a few times, but that's almost to be expected. And while the Knicks might not be contenders, they're better than whatever the hell they were for the preceding decades.

However twice already this season, players - specifically Josh Hart and Quentin Grimes - have grumbled about their lack of touches on offence. The recent Anunoby trade might have opened up some more playing time for the team's plethora of wings, but if the recent minutes distribution is anything to go by, Thibs may revert to classic Thibs and ride his starters to the point of exhaustion. Quite where that leaves the aforementioned players, and the Knicks' aspirations themselves in the absence of a further trade this season, remains to be seen.

I don't really see a revolt happening though. Injuries from overworked bodies sure, but not a revolt...


thibslamindy.gif


All insurrections must be crushed with an iron fist.



MILWAUKEE BUCKS

Not so much beef here as a botched introduction.

Even after the departure of Jrue Holiday, completely overhauling a defence which had consistently ranked among the top performing in the NBA during the Budenholzer years was ill-advised by incumbent Adrian Griffin. He later re-adjusted his emphasis on perimeter defence, but it was hardly an auspicious beginning to the new era in Milwaukee.

With low-key characters like Middleton and Lopez around a full blown insurrection is rarely going to be a threat, but if the inconsistent play continues, then Giannis might begin to take the malaise personally. What's surprising is that a team full of veterans doesn't seem to be able to circumvent the apathy that has marked the Bucks' play in many games already this season. Milwaukee seemed like a plum job this off-season, but Griffin has his work cut out here.


CHICAGO BULLS

Pretty simple, really - Zach LaVine or Billy Donovan. One of them has to go.

There have been gripes with the way Donovan has handled Chicago's young players, especially Patrick Williams. However both Williams and Coby White have flourished during the Bulls' recent renaissance. This suggests that Donovan isn't completely hopeless when it comes to player development. It also happened to coincide with the enforced absence of LaVine, and people can and will draw their own conclusions about that.

One suspects that for the Bulls right now, it's probably better to part with the player than the coach. The problem is that, given LaVine's gargantuan contract and health issues, it's infinitely easier to remove the coach. One still suspects that LaVine will be the one to depart, but it'll be awkward in the meantime.


usatsi_19926647.jpg


Abracadabra, Billy will try to make this $215 million contract... disappear!



DETROIT PISTONS

Speaking of large contracts, Monty Williams probably ain't going anywhere anytime soon. Which means a few fences need to be mended here.

Some disclaimers here. The horribly imbalanced roster isn't Monty's fault. The curious use of the off-season's cap room isn't Monty's fault. And the past fifteen years of Michigan Malaise certainly isn't Monty's fault either.

However as a 3-32 record self-evidently implies, some of the coaching decisions in Detroit have been eyebrow-raising to say the least. Young guards Jaden Ivey, Killian Hayes and Marcus Sasser have all seen their roles and playing time fluctuate wildly. Ditto up front, where whether James Wiseman or Marvin Bagley is in favour seems to depend on the month.

Meanwhile the veterans that are healthy are... playing. They're not exactly raising their trade value, but they're playing. Lose/lose really.

Again, this ain't all Monty's fault. But the time is already fast approaching when he needs to take an axe and prune all the deadwood from his rotations - youngsters, vets, all of it. Settle on the guys the Pistons want to build around, put them in consistent roles, and then work on finding some vets to complement them.

If this all isn't sorted out soon, the psychological scars and culture rot will really set in. Well, moreso.


LOS ANGELES LAKERS

Oh boy. LeBron is NOT happy, Jan.

Not with the refs. Not with his team. Not with his teammates. And, apparently, not with with his coach either.

For purposes of this OP, the last one is the killer. When these things start getting leaked to the media, it rarely ends well. And with the Lakers having lost 9 of their last 11 games, the media spotlight is going to be centred here for the foreseeable future.

If it's true that most of the players are tired and/or confused about their constantly changing roles, then Ham may well be on borrowed time. To be honest, LeBron's disapproval just by itself is probably enough to sound the death knell for any current Lakers coaching career.

We could wax lyrical about the tail wagging the dog and all that, but it's probably moot. With this team, with this roster, with this age group and with this star in particular, there are never any mitigating circumstances. It's win or be damned.

Over to you, Darvin.


0_GettyImages-1896202124.jpg


J'Accuse - LeBron points out the problem.



Coming Up

Monday
- the LA derby will feature many stars, and possibly some flopping. Ant-man and Luka square off in Dallas.

Tuesday - These double-up games are freaking weird. Anyway, the Celts and Pacers go again. It's a Durant & Westbrook reunion in LA.

Wednesday - Minny's roadtrip continues in Orlando. The Griz need to start making up lost ground, and visit Dallas.

Thursday - A brutal back to back for the Wolves in Boston. A 2012 Finals rematch in Miami, while the Pels and Dubs try to outchoke each other

Friday - Big East game as the Bucks host Boston. Brunson revenge tour in Dallas, while the disappointing Suns and Lakers meet in LA

Saturday - The high-octane Kings visit Philly, the Pels continue a brutal stretch in Denver, plus the Florida derby.

Sunday - Ime Udoka returns to the scene of the crime in Boston. Griz/Knicks, Bucks/Dubs, Thunder/Magic and Mavs/Pels all look tasty.


Have a beef-free week, guys
 
Last edited:

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G'day, and welcome to the portion of the NBA season known colloquially as 'the grind'. No, not THAT one, Dwight - put the phone down, mate.

Now that the fun and festivities of Christmas, New Year and the Lakers' prestigious IST banner unfurling are over and done with, it's time for teams to get down to the business of winning basketball games, while also avoiding falling foul of the NBA's new participation legislation against resting players. Or if you're Detroit, Washington, San Antonio, Portland or Charlotte, losing games while avoiding falling foul of said participation legislation. Nobody ever said that life in the NBA is easy.

It's not just the players who get bogged down during the dog days of the season - others on the periphery, such as plebs tasked with writing tenuously basketball themed OPs for weekly threads for instance, get worn down too. If such a pleb happened to cynical and tacky, he might choose to fill in the gaps in the season with some cheap, tabloid-style gossip round-ups. Of course integrity demands that he do no such thing. Luckily I'm both cynical and devoid of integrity, so please enjoy a brief recap of some of the current beefs between players and coaches in the league this season.


image


It's important to grab your opportunities, if not your coach's neck, with both hands. Keep the lines of dialogue - and windpipes - open.



GOLDEN STATE

We'll begin in Saaaaan Fraaaaanciscooo, where lately it seems nobody is wearing flowers in their hair. Steve Kerr, who for his first five years with the Warriors had possibly the most stress-free NBA coaching job in history, suddenly finds himself putting out spot-fires everywhere.

He has been criticised - and recently offered a mea culpa, of sorts - for his handling of the Draymond/Poole punching incident, which has of course led to wider questioning of his handling of Draymond's antics in general. How much of that is warranted is up for debate, but it's certainly weighing on him.

Now it seems the youth in the Bay Area have risen up in revolt too. Jonathan Kuminga was apparently 'done' with Kerr after sitting the last quarter and a half as the Dubs blew a big lead against the Nuggets. That insurrection has seemingly inspired Moses Moody to attempt the same just hours later.

Meanwhile Wiggins has effectively been MIA for the better part of a year now - which in turn has exacerbated the Kuminga and Moody situations - while Klay has admitted to finding basketball demoralising of late too. And now both CP3 and Payton Jr are injured for the foreseeable future, all whilst the Warriors are struggling mightily to keep their collective heads above .500.

Frankly, if I were Kerr at this point I'd be tempted to eschew Scott McKenzie and just go full White Rabbit.



SAN ANTONIO

Speaking of veteran coaches used to serene waters, Kerr's old mentor and living legend Pop isn't having it all his own way during his autumn years either.

Recently Wemby has been chafing against the minutes restriction imposed by the team, while Pop has been hearing criticism about the way he has been employing the French phenom. Personally I'm inclined to chalk the latter down to impossibly high demands set by instant gratification junkies, but it's still notable that it's even a thing.

Of more substance is the criticism aimed at Pop for the ongoing Sochan point forward experiment. While there's nothing fundamentally wrong with trying stuff during a rebuilding period, it's a fine line between exposing young players to new situations and permanently damaging their self-confidence.

I doubt Pop will lose much sleep over any of it, and it'd be a surprise if Pop left on anything other than his own terms. Still, this is all a brutal reminder that it's no longer 2004, and conjures memories of Jerry Sloan vis-a-vis Deron Williams.


popvoteforpedro.jpg


If you vote for Sochan as your point guard, all your wildest dreams will come true.



SACRAMENTO KINGS

It seems bizarre that a coach who just broke a seventeen year playoff drought and has his small-market team currently just one game off back-to-back division titles would be doing anything other than planning the statue to be built for him in front of the arena, but here we are, Mike Brown.

Things are hardly horrible in Sactown, but there are a few small red flags appearing. The team has suffered some inexplicable losses, while Kevin Huerter has lost his starting job. Reportedly both he and Harrison Barnes are on the trading block as the Siakam rumours run hot and cold. Ditto former lottery pick Davion Mitchell, who was out, and is now temporarily back in the rotation. Meanwhile off-season mystery signing Sasha Vezenkov has likewise disappeared from the rotation, which is problematic for a 27 year old 'rookie' who is on a MLE level contract.

More ominously, Malik Monk and Brown got into a spirited discussion during the recent abysmal home loss to the short-handed Hornets. Doesn't really augur well for a continued collaboration with a key bench piece who is soon to be a free agent. Sounds like less beam lighting and more bridge building should be the priority for Coach Brown and the Kings at present.



NEW YORK KNICKS

A lot of the coaching names on this list are mildly surprising, but hey - you surely can't be shocked with this one...

Thibs has actually been on his best behaviour (well, relatively speaking) recently in the Big Apple. Sure he and Randle have butted heads a few times, but that's almost to be expected. And while the Knicks might not be contenders, they're better than whatever the hell they were for the preceding decades.

However twice already this season, players - specifically Josh Hart and Quentin Grimes - have grumbled about their lack of touches on offence. The recent Anunoby trade might have opened up some more playing time for the team's plethora of wings, but if the recent minutes distribution is anything to go by, Thibs may revert to classic Thibs and ride his starters to the point of exhaustion. Quite where that leaves the aforementioned players, and the Knicks' aspirations themselves in the absence of a further trade this season, remains to be seen.

I don't really see a revolt happening though. Injuries from overworked bodies sure, but not a revolt...


thibslamindy.gif


All insurrections must be crushed with an iron fist.



MILWAUKEE BUCKS

Not so much beef here as a botched introduction.

Even after the departure of Jrue Holiday, completely overhauling a defence which had consistently ranked among the top performing in the NBA during the Budenholzer years was ill-advised by incumbent Adrian Griffin. He later re-adjusted his emphasis on perimeter defence, but it was hardly an auspicious beginning to the new era in Milwaukee.

With low-key characters like Middleton and Lopez around a full blown insurrection is rarely going to be a threat, but if the inconsistent play continues, then Giannis might begin to take the malaise personally. What's surprising is that a team full of veterans doesn't seem to be able to circumvent the apathy that has marked the Bucks' play in many games already this season. Milwaukee seemed like a plum job this off-season, but Griffin has his work cut out here.


CHICAGO BULLS

Pretty simple, really - Zach LaVine or Billy Donovan. One of them has to go.

There have been gripes with the way Donovan has handled Chicago's young players, especially Patrick Williams. However both Williams and Coby White have flourished during the Bulls' recent renaissance. This suggests that Donovan isn't completely hopeless when it comes to player development. It also happened to coincide with the enforced absence of LaVine, and people can and will draw their own conclusions about that.

One suspects that for the Bulls right now, it's probably better to part with the player than the coach. The problem is that, given LaVine's gargantuan contract and health issues, it's infinitely easier to remove the coach. One still suspects that LaVine will be the one to depart, but it'll be awkward in the meantime.


usatsi_19926647.jpg


Abracadabra, Billy will try to make this $215 million contract... disappear!



DETROIT PISTONS

Speaking of large contracts, Monty Williams probably ain't going anywhere anytime soon. Which means a few fences need to be mended here.

Some disclaimers here. The horribly imbalanced roster isn't Monty's fault. The curious use of the off-season's cap room isn't Monty's fault. And the past fifteen years of Michigan Malaise certainly isn't Monty's fault either.

However as a 3-32 record self-evidently implies, some of the coaching decisions in Detroit have been eyebrow-raising to say the least. Young guards Jaden Ivey, Killian Hayes and Marcus Sasser have all seen their roles and playing time fluctuate wildly. Ditto up front, where whether James Wiseman or Marvin Bagley is in favour seems to depend on the month.

Meanwhile the veterans that are healthy are... playing. They're not exactly raising their trade value, but they're playing. Lose/lose really.

Again, this ain't all Monty's fault. But the time is already fast approaching when he needs to take an axe and prune all the deadwood from his rotations - youngsters, vets, all of it. Settle on the guys the Pistons want to build around, put them in consistent roles, and then work on finding some vets to complement them.

If this all isn't sorted out soon, the psychological scars and culture rot will really set in. Well, moreso.


LOS ANGELES LAKERS

Oh boy. LeBron is NOT happy, Jan.

Not with the refs. Not with his team. Not with his teammates. And, apparently, not with with his coach either.

For purposes of this OP, the last one is the killer. When these things start getting leaked to the media, it rarely ends well. And with the Lakers having lost 9 of their last 11 games, the media spotlight is going to be centred here for the foreseeable future.

If it's true that most of the players are tired and/or confused about their constantly changing roles, then Ham may well be on borrowed time. To be honest, LeBron's disapproval just by itself is probably enough to sound the death knell for any current Lakers coaching career.

We could wax lyrical about the tail wagging the dog and all that, but it's probably moot. With this team, with this roster, with this age group and with this star in particular, there are never any mitigating circumstances. It's win or be damned.

Over to you, Darvin.


0_GettyImages-1896202124.jpg


J'Accuse - LeBron points out the problem.



Coming Up

Monday
- the LA derby will feature many stars, and possibly some flopping. Ant-man and Luka square off in Dallas.

Tuesday - These double-up games are freaking weird. Anyway, the Celts and Pacers go again. It's a Durant & Westbrook reunion in LA.

Wednesday - Minny's roadtrip continues in Orlando. The Griz need to start making up lost ground, and visit Dallas.

Thursday - A brutal back to back for the Wolves in Boston. A 2012 Finals rematch in Miami, while the Pels and Dubs try to outchoke each other

Friday - Big East game as the Bucks host Boston. Brunson revenge tour in Dallas, while the disappointing Suns and Lakers meet in LA

Saturday - The high-octane Kings visit Philly, the Pels continue a brutal stretch in Denver, plus the Florida derby.

Sunday - Ime Udoka returns to the scene of the crime in Boston. Griz/Knicks, Bucks/Dubs, Thunder/Magic and Mavs/Pels all look tasty.


Have a beef-free week, guys

Two things.

One, how come the Boston celtics did not get a mention?

two, How long does something like this take you to write up?

Loving it though keep up the good work mate.
 

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Paolo's last 10 games:
  • 35/10/4 (3 steals, 1 block)
  • 32/10/11 (3 steals)
  • 43/4/5
  • 27/12/6 (2 steals, 1 block)
  • 28/9/7 (1 block)
  • 29/10/4 (1 steal, 1 block)
  • 19/9/4 (1 steal, 1 block)
  • 24/3/8 (1 steal, 1 block)
  • 34/7/4 (1 steal)
  • 23/7/4 (1 block)
Good for an average of 29.4 points, 8.1 rebounds and 5.7 assists. All-Star this man.

But in all seriousness, it's so nice to have a genuine star again after so many years in the wilderness.
 
RJ with a lazy 26/3/3 first half on 10/13 shooting and Quickley 7/4/9 and 0 turnovers in that 9 assists.

Toronto be in party mode right about now
Early days it's reminding me of a watered down Sabonis/Hali deal. Both teams looking like winners, though figure it'll favour Toronto in the long run in the way that deal ended up favouring Indy. Both Sacramento and New York got exactly what they needed though.
 
Trae Young is asking out once this season is over, book it.
Maybe but he's paid to be the man and will never win a title as the #1 guy. I mean there's alot of this around the league but they need to almost start again rather than Trae thinking demanding a trade is the answer for anyone

Keep DJM, Johnson, Okongwu and trade the rest?
 
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