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Sunday, September 21, 2014

Knicks Morning News (Monday, Jun 24 2013)

  • [New York Times] Sports Briefing | Basketball: Liberty Fall in Overtime in First Home Loss (Mon, 24 Jun 2013 04:01:00 GMT)
    Shenise Johnson’s jump shot with 36.1 seconds left in overtime lifted the San Antonio Silver Stars to a victory over the Liberty in Newark.    

  • [New York Times] Celtics’ Rivers Is Said to Be Heading to Clippers (Mon, 24 Jun 2013 02:47:12 GMT)
    The Celtics will trade Coach Doc Rivers to the Clippers in exchange for a first-round draft pick in 2015, according to a person close to Rivers.    

  • [New York Times] AP Source: Clippers Land New Coach in Doc Rivers (Mon, 24 Jun 2013 02:19:26 GMT)
    Doc Rivers will be the next coach of the Los Angeles Clippers if the NBA approves the rare but not unprecedented trade of an active coach, a Boston Celtics official told The Associated Press on Sunday night.    

  • 68 comments on “Knicks Morning News (Monday, Jun 24 2013)

    1. ess-dog

      Lots of interesting international potential in this draft. A guy like Gobert could be amazing in 3 years. Jean-Charles looks like a player. Schroeder could fall right in our laps. I would love another later 1st, early 2nd in this draft…

    2. danvt

      Is Rivers worth an unprotected 2015 first round pick? Obviously the Clips expect to be pretty good. A lot would have to go wrong to make that a lottery pick. Still it’s low risk and possible high reward for Ainge, who probably thought it was time for a new coach anyway.

      It’d be hilarious if Paul signs somewhere else now.

      I guess the LAC plan A is to trade Griffin and Bledsoe for D12 and get KG for Deandre Jordan. Does anyone on this board like Jordan? I had to read the FT % a bunch of times to process it, .386!

      and how exactly do they get Pierce in the fold?

    3. Hubert

      danvt:
      Is Rivers worth an unprotected 2015 first round pick?

      I think so. There’s not a lot of great coaches in this league and their importance is getting greater and greater. If you have one of the good ones, it gives you a huge advantage (especially when there are so many bad ones to exploit).

      Barring a catastrophic Paul injury, that’s not going to be a great pick anyway.

    4. Hubert

      I’m a little annoyed that Stern saved the Celtics from themselves, though, and refused to let them include the KG for Jordan part.

    5. thenamestsam

      To me, Doc isn’t worth a first round pick because I’m not convinced he’s a better coach than a guy like SVG who they could have hired without giving up the pick. But I think this has more to do with Chris Paul than it does with Doc Rivers. If that’s the difference between him staying and going then yeah, I think a first round pick is worth getting Doc and convincing Paul to stay.

      It’ll be interesting to see what Doc can do there. If he can get them to play defense at a high level and get the rotation ironed out that could be a dangerous team. Deandre for KG would make them a real danger though at least for a year or two. I don’t understand the league’s position on this at all. Why do they care if teams want to trade coaches?

    6. Hubert

      SVG is a smart coach but I feel like he must be so annoying to deal with from a player’s perspective. He was pretty much mutinied in his last two jobs.

    7. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      Hubert: I think so.There’s not a lot of great coaches in this league and their importance is getting greater and greater.If you have one of the good ones, it gives you a huge advantage (especially when there are so many bad ones to exploit).

      Barring a catastrophic Paul injury, that’s not going to be a great pick anyway.

      How could you possibly know which coaches are great? Phil Jackson and Gregg Popovich aside, how do you know that coaching changes matter? Because the beat reporters say so?

      Rivers was a shit coach when he had no players, and he got a perennial all-defensive NBAer gifted to him from Minnesota and turned into a coaching “star.” Then his players got old, and, predictably, his team started sucking again.

      The NBA is a player’s league. Erik Spoelstra can thank his lucky stars when he gets inducted to the Hall of Fame for being gifted, like Rivers did, a slew of top-level talent. Are they bad coaches? Probably not. But does that mean that they’re great because they didn’t go ahead fuck up a good situation?

      Even jon abbey could have coached the Heat to sixty wins this year, and he knows almost nothing about basketball.

    8. er

      thenamestsam:
      I don’t understand the league’s position on this at all. Why do they care if teams want to trade coaches?

      i dont get this either. I guess they feel it would be some kinda “under the table” compensation but sheesh, Stern sure knows how to overstep.

    9. jon abbey

      “Rivers was a shit coach when he had no players, and he got a perennial all-defensive NBAer gifted to him from Minnesota and turned into a coaching “star.” Then his players got old, and, predictably, his team started sucking again.”

      you have a bit of a point here, but you go way too far with it. the Celtics unfortunately never started sucking, they pushed Miami to the limit year before last and then they lost in the first round this year without their best player Rondo, and even with that they pushed NY to six and ruined their chances of beating Indiana.

      “Even jon abbey could have coached the Heat to sixty wins this year, and he knows almost nothing about basketball.”

      heh, neither part of that is true. Miami would be a tricky team to coach with all of their hot/cold three point shooters, I never would have gone back to Battier in the Finals but he ended up being their savior.

    10. Z

      thenamestsam:

      Why do they care if teams want to trade coaches?

      I can see how it poses a problem that the league would like to avoid, especially if players are involved.

      danvt:

      I guess the LAC plan A is to trade Griffin and Bledsoe for D12.

      Is this really a legitimate option? How can the Clippers trade Griffin to the Lakers? They finally made a draft pick that made their team relevant, and they’ll just hand him over to the city’s A team just as he’s entering his prime? I mean, I don’t think the Knicks and Nets have ever made a trade, ever, even for players of Shawne Williams’ ilk. If the Clippers trade Griffin to the Lakers, they really are just the Laker’s farm team.

    11. Hubert

      The Honorable Cock Jowles:
      The NBA is a player’s league. Erik Spoelstra can thank his lucky stars when he gets inducted to the Hall of Fame for being gifted, like Rivers did, a slew of top-level talent. Are they bad coaches? Probably not. But does that mean that they’re great because they didn’t go ahead fuck up a good situation?

      Actually, yes. Coaches who don’t go ahead and fuck up a good situation are hard to find these days, and that trait alone puts a coach in the elite category with this current crop of coaches.

    12. Frank

      The Honorable Cock Jowles: How could you possibly know which coaches are great? Phil Jackson and Gregg Popovich aside, how do you know that coaching changes matter? Because the beat reporters say so?

      Um, you just confirmed that coaches matter. You can’t say that coaching changes don’t matter when you’ve already given two examples of when they do.

      My humble opinion? During the regular season when the travel is crazy and there’s little time to gameplan, talent and overall long-term strategies matter most — ie. offensive system (spread PNR vs triangle vs. whatever). In the playoffs, talent STILL matters the most, but coaching matters more than a little. For instance- when Miami starting fronting Melo in the 1st round series last year, Woodson has zero answers. He also had a huge talent deficit, but watching the Knicks try to throw the ball over the top to Melo for 22 seconds was painful. The Heat also fronted Duncan a lot, but you didn’t see any of that same deer-in-the-headlights from the Spurs.

      There probably isn’t data to suggest that coaching changes matter, but again, that’s probably due to too much noise to see the signal. Absence of evidence does not equal evidence of absence. 90% of coaches are probably interchangeable, 10% make a positive difference, and 10% make a negative difference. That means in any given sample of 30 teams, 3 teams have really good coaches (say Thibs, Pop, and someone) and 1 or 2 teams have really bad coaches (Vinny Del Negro, NYK/LA version of D’Antoni, etc.). But there’s no signal because that means 24 out of the 30 coaches are just noise.

    13. Hubert

      Also, THCJ, I wouldn’t argue that the experience Rivers got when his 2008 team carried him to a title made him the coach that he is. But it doesn’t matter how or why he got the experience. He did, and made him a better, more confident coach.

    14. Frank

      But regardless of what I just wrote – I don’t think Rivers is one of those guys that makes a difference. Agree with THCJ that when he had bad talent his teams were bad, and when he had good (superlative) talent his teams were good. In 2008 he literally had 4 probable HoFers in/near their primes (assuming Rondo is on that level), and at positions that were compatible with each other to boot (ie. no Wade/Lebron or Amare/Melo awkward overlap). That level of talent probably hasn’t been together in their primes on one team since the Showtime Lakers. And it wasn’t like it was those 4 guys and no one else– they had Perk when he was good, Tony Allen, some solid vets in PJ Brown and James Posey. It would have been a major disappointment not to win at least 1 title with that crew.

      And to think that Rivers couldn’t cobble together even an average offense with Rondo, Pierce, and Garnett on the floor together — that’s on him.

    15. Hubert

      To me, Rivers became a good coach after he won the title, a title which his team quite possibly won in spite of him because they were absurdly talented and got lucky to boot.

      THCJ seems to be implying that a good coach is born, not made. I’m sure some are. But most need to experience a lot of failure to improve.

      Woodson just learned some lessons the hard way, lessons that a guy like Rivers already knows. I’d rather have the guy who has learned, and there aren’t many.

    16. johnno

      Frank: The Heat also fronted Duncan a lot, but you didn’t see any of that same deer-in-the-headlights from the Spurs.

      I beg to disagree. In game 6, Duncan went crazy in the first half. In the second half, the Heat focused on shutting him down and the Spurs/Popovich appeared to have no clue whatsoever how to respond, especially in the last few minutes and most specifically in the last 30 seconds.

    17. danvt

      Thanks for the responses. I guess the perceived value of draft picks is low right now and the value of coaching is high. It makes sense, considering what NYK has been able to do with talent no one else coveted (Lin, Copeland, Novak). Seems like basketball has become a game of buying discrete skills and then finding a master at blending that talent.

      Still, I see Sterling overpaying for what might be a lateral move.

    18. johnno

      Frank: Agree with THCJ that when he had bad talent his teams were bad,

      For the first eight years of his career, Rivers was thought by most to be Del Negro bad as a coach. In his last year BG (before Garnett), his team won 24 games. If you want to have some fun, go into the archives and read what Bill Simmons had to say about him BG.

    19. massive

      I sure do hope Woodson gets better as a coach. I don’t think we would have beat the Pacers anyway with the illegal defense the referees were letting Hibbert play since we couldn’t get layups (he jumped straight up!). But maybe if he played an up tempo attack and used Copeland like I was wishing he did, we would have been the team in a Game 7 against Miami.

    20. jon abbey

      also Thibodeau had a lot to do with the Celtics gelling so quickly, he was an assistant on the staff then. I am not a big Doc Rivers fan either, but I agree with Frank above that coaching can make a decided difference in the playoffs (Woodson’s shitty job this year is a good example close to home).

    21. mokers

      danvt:
      Thanks for the responses.I guess the perceived value of draft picks is low right now and the value of coaching is high.It makes sense, considering what NYK has been able to do with talent no one else coveted (Lin, Copeland, Novak).Seems like basketball has become a game of buying discrete skills and then finding a master at blending that talent.

      Still, I see Sterling overpaying for what might be a lateral move.

      I think the Clippers aren’t as invested in Doc Rivers as they are in keeping Chris Paul happy enough to re-sign for next year. Keeping Paul together with Griffin means there is a good chance they will make the playoffs for the duration of that contract and a chance at sustaining a lot of larger portion of fan interest with the possibility of the Lakers stumbling over the next few years. It could mean more games on national television. There may be some other parts fo having Rivers come over, like the kind of assistant coaching staff he could attract.

      I don’t think Rivers is going to be able to turn Jordan into something worth his contract though, so there is still a lot of work making the clippers roster a true title contender.

    22. Nick C.

      Wasn’t Rivers considered a decent coach with Orlando, even if they never got out of the first round? It sounds like we are all referencing the Al Jefferson Celtic years as his only pre-KG/Allen trade coaching experience.

    23. ess-dog

      Man, this team would be a lot more rootable if we just dumped Woodson and JR and picked up Brian Shaw. I’m almost hoping that someone offers JR more dough than we can afford. I’m not sure he’s worth the headache.

    24. er

      ess-dog:
      Man, this team would be a lot more “rootable”

      LOL…..ah the summer brings the return of this awesome made up word

    25. Z

      I get why teams would want Rivers over the other options out there. He has a good pedigree. He was a player-coach when he played. And he actually won coach of the year his first (or second?) season when the Darrell Armstrong-led Magic actually competed in the East. Had Grant Hill not gotten hurt, his Orlando legacy would have looked a lot different. But, basically, people agreed that, given good players, Rivers could lead a team to success which he did. And more than anything else, he is non-controversial. He doesn’t come with the baggage that a lot of other “born coaches” (like Jason Kidd, Scott Skiles, etc…) come with. So is he worth giving up a late first-round draft pick for? Probably not in a vacuum, but if it helps you recruit or keep great players, then yes, absolutely.

    26. ess-dog

      er: LOL…..ah the summer brings the return of this awesome made up word

      Re: JR, the guy hasn’t had a playoffs that wasn’t literally abysmal since 2009… and that year was average.

      And it’s not like his 2012/13 season was such a breakout. It ended up being more or less in line with all of his past seasons.

      In stark contrast, Shump actually showed up big time in the playoffs.

      And unfortunately, Woodson’s method of controlling JR is by not controlling him at all, so that doesn’t help.

    27. massive

      I really think Woodson is getting too much heat for losing to the Pacers in 6. Melo, Chandler, and Smith were all playing hurt. The referees were making it so that Roy Hibbert both never had to leave the paint and never fouled out (when he probably committed a foul 12 times a game), so we couldn’t get any lay-ups. I don’t know how different the series would have gone if we played Copeland over Kidd.

      The Pacers took the Heat to 7 games. You can’t really take anything away from them this post season. If the referees called all of the fouls or if the Knicks were healthy, I think we’d all be singing a different tune about Coach Woodson.

    28. danvt

      I never thought of that. Clearly it would be anathema for those two franchises to do business. However, I read that somewhere, I didn’t dream it up.

      I don’t see KG and Blake Griffin being on the same roster. I think that would be bad for Griffin’s progression. I also, don’t see Caron Butler and Pierce on the same roster. And, I think, Bledsoe wants a starting job somewhere.

      Either way (any way), Paul better sign or it could get ugly there. They clearly want to make major changes. I’ll really enjoy rubbernecking on that multi car pile up.

      Z: Is this really a legitimate option? How can the Clippers trade Griffin to the Lakers? They finally made a draft pick that made their team relevant, and they’ll just hand him over to the city’s A team just as he’s entering his prime? I mean, I don’t think the Knicks and Nets have ever made a trade, ever, even for players of Shawne Williams’ ilk. If the Clippers trade Griffin to the Lakers, they really are just the Laker’s farm team.

    29. Frank

      johnno: I beg to disagree.In game 6, Duncan went crazy in the first half.In the second half, the Heat focused on shutting him down and the Spurs/Popovich appeared to have no clue whatsoever how to respond, especially in the last few minutes and most specifically in the last 30 seconds.

      And yet the Spurs had basically a 99% chance of winning that game with 30 seconds left. Doesn’t matter if they take away Duncan if other guys pick it up, which is what they did. Our problem is that we spent 22 seconds out of the 24 sec clock trying the same entry pass. Spoelstra’s strategy completely destroyed our offense – it didn’t do that to the Spurs.

    30. ess-dog

      For the record, I actually think Woodson is a fairly good in-game play caller, but his substitution patterns drive me nutso.

    31. er

      ess-dog: Re: JR, the guy hasn’t had a playoffs that wasn’t literally abysmal since 2009… and that year was average.

      And it’s not like his 2012/13 season was such a breakout. It ended up being more or less in line with all of his past seasons.

      In stark contrast, Shump actually showed up big time in the playoffs.

      And unfortunately, Woodson’s method of controlling JR is by not controlling him at all, so that doesn’t help.

      I agree with you for the most part, the word is just funny. Also JR was asked to do way to much on this team. It wasnt his fault but thats just how it happened. Hopefully shump and melo and cope keep improving and we get something from stat to lower the burden on our friend Earl the pipe

    32. Hubert

      Nick C.:
      Wasn’t Rivers considered a decent coach with Orlando, even if they never got out of the first round? It sounds like we are all referencing the Al Jefferson Celtic years as his only pre-KG/Allen trade coaching experience.

      You are correct. He was never considered “Del negro bad” in Orlando. He won coach of the year in 2000 when his top 7 guys were Darrell Armstrong, Ben Wallace, Monty Williams, John Amaechi, Chucky Atkins, and Pat Garrity. He had three solid years with McGrady but failed to win a playoff series (as did every coach who ever coached Tracy McGrady).

      Then Bill Simmons, who is an idiot, started trashing him on Page 2.

    33. Frank

      ess-dog:
      For the record, I actually think Woodson is a fairly good in-game play caller, but his substitution patterns drive me nutso.

      Agreed- but it’s one thing to call a set play — by definition it’s probably something you’ve worked on over and over again in practice, and something you knew would work in certain circumstances. But what about adjustments to tactics you didn’t expect?

      That said – Woodson was basically thrust back into headcoaching with little time to really work through this stuff. He seemed to be a bit better in these playoffs, stubborn double-teaming of Ian Mahinmi notwithstanding. And yes, those substitution patterns were nuts.

    34. d-mar

      Re: the draft, it’s painful to see Indiana picking before us because we finished with a better record. Not that a one pick difference will mean that much, but you never know.

      Also, having never seen him play, I didn’t realize Nerlens Noel is 6’10″, 228 lbs. That is one really skinny dude, Cleveland has to be thinking long and hard about picking him #1.

    35. Hubert

      On the value of the late first round pick vs Rivers, here’s why I’m pro-Rivers:

      What do you think would have helped us most against Indiana last month: a massive upgrade at coach* or the 24th player in this year’s draft?

      * I’m not saying Rivers is a massive upgrade over Woodson (though I think he is better), but he is a massive upgrade for the Clippers.

    36. Frank

      Hubert: What do you think would have helped us most against Indiana last month: a massive upgrade at coach* or the 24th player in this year’s draft?

      Right – but they could basically have hired anyone and that would’ve been a massive upgrade. SVG, JVG, George Karl, even Larry Brown for pete’s sake. Certainly Brian Shaw by all reports. Or one of the 234 Spurs assistants.

      Chances are CP3 said “I’ll stay if you get Doc, and maybe I’ll stay if you don’t”. In that setting it’s a no-brainer.

      Meanwhile, interesting tweet from Woj: “The more teams I talk to in the late 20′s, the less enthusiasm I hear from any of them about keeping their draft picks.”

      Maybe one could be for sale cheap just as a salary dump (ie. for one of our nonguaranteeds).

    37. Keniman Shumpwalker

      d-mar:
      Re: the draft, it’s painful to see Indiana picking before us because we finished with a better record. Not that a one pick difference will mean that much, but you never know.

      Also, having never seen him play, I didn’t realize Nerlens Noel is 6’10?, 228 lbs. That is one really skinny dude, Cleveland has to be thinking long and hard about picking him #1.

      I’ve actually seen him listed frequently at 206ish. That’s why I’d be terrified of drafting him in the top-5. Someone that skinny, with that limited of a skill set, with day-1 injury concerns…I don’t know. Maybe his shot-blocking potential and athleticism can overcome those innate flaws…but, as I said the other day, it’s hard for me to imagine this guy being able to withstand the rigors of banging against NBA bigs for 82 games. Seems like extremely high bust potential here and a lot of hype thanks to the UK marketing machine. To put it another way, if Nerlens went to IUPUI or some other small school, wouldn’t he be considered more of a late first round project big? A diamond in the rough type?

    38. Hubert

      Frank:
      Chances are CP3 said “I’ll stay if you get Doc, and maybe I’ll stay if you don’t”.In that setting it’s a no-brainer.

      Is anyone else thinking of the time Elton Brand made a similar plea for help, got Baron Davis, and then bolted the Clippers 3 days later?

      Wouldn’t shock me, that’s all I’m saying.

    39. JK47

      Hubert: Is anyone else thinking of the time Elton Brand made a similar plea for help, got Baron Davis, and then bolted the Clippers 3 days later?

      Wouldn’t shock me, that’s all I’m saying.

      If anyone deserves this kind of dicking around, it’s Donald Sterling.

    40. ess-dog

      I’m not sure why D12 and CP3 wouldn’t want to join forces with Horford in ATL next year. Plus the Hawks have 2 first rounders and Teague to make another deal with if they want to.

      They could have a lineup of something like: CP3, Afflalo, Reggie Bullock, Horford, D12

    41. johnno

      ess-dog: I’m not sure why D12 and CP3 wouldn’t want to join forces with Horford in ATL next year.

      Because it’s Atlanta? Seriously, if employers across the nation were fighting to pay you millions of dollars to come work for them, would you work for a company located in Atlanta or one located in SoCal?

    42. Keniman Shumpwalker

      ess-dog:
      I’m not sure why D12 and CP3 wouldn’t want to join forces with Horford in ATL next year. Plus the Hawks have 2 first rounders and Teague to make another deal with if they want to.

      They could have a lineup of something like: CP3, Afflalo, Reggie Bullock, Horford, D12

      Yeah it seems to make sense on every level…but Atlanta is Atlanta, I guess. Not an exciting destination for NBA ball players. Certainly, though, if these guys were committed to playing together and having the best possible roster around them, The Hawks seem perfect. I know there are rumors that Dwight isn’t interested in playing in his hometown, but for a guy who struggles with the spotlight like he does, you’d think playing in a relative media backwater, like Atlanta, would be enticing.

    43. thenamestsam

      Frank:

      My humble opinion? During the regular season when the travel is crazy and there’s little time to gameplan, talent and overall long-term strategies matter most — ie. offensive system (spread PNR vs triangle vs. whatever).In the playoffs, talent STILL matters the most, but coaching matters more than a little.For instance-when Miami starting fronting Melo in the 1st round series last year, Woodson has zero answers. He also had a huge talent deficit, but watching the Knicks try to throw the ball over the top to Melo for 22 seconds was painful.The Heat also fronted Duncan a lot, but you didn’t see any of that same deer-in-the-headlights from the Spurs.

      I strongly agree with this. During the regular season I think coaching matters but it’s impact gets swallowed under an avalanche of more important factors the most important of which are talent and health. Popovich isn’t going to make the Bobcats a 60 win team and Del Negro isn’t going to make the Heat chumps. I even think you can make a convincing case that the most relevant coaching stuf during the regular season isn’t the tactical and strategic issues that get so much focus but more big picture stuff – minute management, keeping a team focused, player development, etc.

      But during the playoffs I really believe that the tactical decisions matter. I’m not going to say the Knicks would have beaten the Pacers if we had gone all shooting instead of matching up by going big because I don’t know whether it would have helped or hurt us, but what I do think you can say definitively is that the series would have been different. And yes talent and health still make a big difference but when you get down to tight playoff series those elements are almost always going to be extremely even. In that case coaching moves can make a big difference.

    44. Brian Cronin

      For instance- when Miami starting fronting Melo in the 1st round series last year, Woodson has zero answers. He also had a huge talent deficit, but watching the Knicks try to throw the ball over the top to Melo for 22 seconds was painful.

      As is you bringing it up now! Thanks a lot, Frank! ;)

    45. max fisher-cohen

      Atlanta is not a favorite city of mine but then neither is Miami. ATL has what I imagine most NBA players look for: nice weather and a plethora of upscale dining and nightlife locations. It’s not NY, LA, San Fran, or Miami, but I’d put it right next to Chicago in the very next class. Problem is Hawks fans are possibly worse than Heat fans and their ownership has historically been pretty bad.

    46. flossy

      d-mar: Also, having never seen him play, I didn’t realize Nerlens Noel is 6’10?, 228 lbs. That is one really skinny dude, Cleveland has to be thinking long and hard about picking him #1.

      I’ve been reading a lot of random reports that if the Cavs keep their pick, they’ll select Alex Len #1 overall.

    47. thenamestsam

      max fisher-cohen:
      Atlanta is not a favorite city of mine but then neither is Miami. ATL has what I imagine most NBA players look for: nice weather and a plethora of upscale dining and nightlife locations. It’s not NY, LA, San Fran, or Miami, but I’d put it right next to Chicago in the very next class. Problem is Hawks fans are possibly worse than Heat fans and their ownership has historically been pretty bad.

      I know everybody loves to hate the Heat fans, but to say that the Hawks fans are possibly worse than Miami fans like Miami has the worst fans in the league is completely absurd. They’ve been above average in attendance every year since Wade got there and that includes 8th in the year they won 15 games. Miami doesn’t have the best fans in the league but there’s at least 10-15 franchises with significantly worse fans and Atlanta is in that class by a lot. They’re just not as popular to hate on.

    48. Brian Cronin

      I’ve been reading a lot of random reports that if the Cavs keep their pick, they’ll select Alex Len #1 overall.

      Which is why I think they’re looking to trade down, figuring other teams want Noel.

    49. massive

      Alex Len is probably the best way for the Cavs to go. I think he’ll be another Pau Gasol at this level, and he just turned 20 a week ago. Len and Irving would be a great core to build around, and he makes a lot more sense next to Tristan Thompson than Noel. You don’t want to have two offensively challenged bigs on court at the same time, especially when your wings are both offensively challenged.

    50. massive

      No, that’s incredibly dumb. If Washington wants a 3 so bad, just do the smart thing and take Otto Porter. If Otto Porter is gone, they can take Anthony Bennett. Both Bennett and Porter have higher ceilings than Deng, and Deng isn’t a gamechanger or anything. I don’t know what they’re thinking. One of Len, Porter, and Bennett will be there. That’s worth not having Deng. Especially after what Thibs did to him.

    51. danvt

      Hubert: What do you think would have helped us most against Indiana last month: a massive upgrade at coach* or the 24th player in this year’s draft?

      I think you frame the argument nicely but boy there are a lot of great players who got picked in the twenties who could have put us over the top against IND. First draft I looked at was 1999 when Andre Kirilenko was 24th. That’s sort of amazing because picture an in his prime Kirilenko in a NYK uniform against IND. I like that a lot more than Rivers. Next I looked at 2008, randomly I swear, drum roll please…. Serge Ibaka.

    52. danvt

      That’s so right on. I think the thing people have to realize is that having players super young is in itself an advantage. I’m six weeks out on a broken ankle right now and I’m having doubts about recovering my abilities, humble as they are. Young guys might be raw but they also have unreal athleticism and no bad injuries yet. Does WAS just have no one who can put in an outside shot? I still think it’s worth taking a shot on a #3 pick over Deng right now. I can’t believe they’d do that deal.

      massive: No, that’s incredibly dumb. If Washington wants a 3 so bad, just do the smart thing and take Otto Porter. If Otto Porter is gone, they can take Anthony Bennett. Both Bennett and Porter have higher ceilings than Deng, and Deng isn’t a gamechanger or anything. I don’t know what they’re thinking. One of Len, Porter, and Bennett will be there. That’s worth not having Deng. Especially after what Thibs did to him.

    53. Hubert

      I feel like the Bulls float rumors about their overpriced players on terrible contracts to create the perception that there is demand for them so they can try to unload them. Like the way the red six used to use Peter Gammons to hype their shitty ass prospects so they could trade them. I read a few weeks back that boozer & jimmy butler for Love or Gasoline.

      But the wiz are really dumb. That’s why I said target them for amare. Amare for the #3 pick + Chris Singleton (and we take Okafor & Ariza back for salary)? I know it’s too good to be true, but they seem dumb and desperate.

    54. massive

      If outside shooting is what Washington wants, then using their best asset to go after it is completely stupid. That’s the different between the East and the West. The Western Conference teams don’t make stupid decisions like that. The Wizards, 4 years ago, traded their pick for Mike freaking Miller and Randy Foye. They just got burned ( Rubio and Curry went when they could have had one of them), and they’re about to make the same stupid decision.

    55. Hubert

      Hubert:
      I feel like the Bulls float rumors about their overpriced players on terrible contracts to create the perception that there is demand for them so they can try to unload them.Like the way the red six used to use Peter Gammons to hype their shitty ass prospects so they could trade them.I read a few weeks back that boozer & jimmy butler for Love or Gasoline.

      But the wiz are really dumb.That’s why I said target them for amare.Amare for the #3 pick + Chris Singleton (and we take Okafor & Ariza back for salary)?I know it’s too good to be true, but they seem dumb and desperate.

      Well so much for my crazy trade. Turns out it was option 1, the Bulls up to their old tricks making shit up. Washington couldn’t deny this one fast enough:

      http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wizards-insider/wp/2013/06/24/source-wizards-do-not-intend-to-trade-no-3-draft-pick-for-luol-deng/

    56. maxwell_3g

      jon abbey:
      “Rivers was a shit coach when he had no players, and he got a perennial all-defensive NBAer gifted to him from Minnesota and turned into a coaching “star.” Then his players got old, and, predictably, his team started sucking again.”

      you have a bit of a point here, but you go way too far with it. the Celtics unfortunately never started sucking, they pushed Miami to the limit year before last and then they lost in the first round this year without their best player Rondo, and even with that they pushed NY to six and ruined their chances of beating Indiana.

      “Even jon abbey could have coached the Heat to sixty wins this year, and he knows almost nothing about basketball.”

      heh, neither part of that is true. Miami would be a tricky team to coach with all of their hot/cold three point shooters, I never would have gone back to Battier in the Finals but he ended up being their savior.

      doc built his resume by leading the team with the least amount of talent in the NBA, an Orlando Magic team led by Matt Harpring, to within one game of a playoff birth many years ago.

    57. maxwell_3g

      Frank: Um, you just confirmed that coaches matter. You can’t say that coaching changes don’t matter when you’ve already given two examples of when they do.

      My humble opinion? During the regular season when the travel is crazy and there’s little time to gameplan, talent and overall long-term strategies matter most — ie. offensive system (spread PNR vs triangle vs. whatever).In the playoffs, talent STILL matters the most, but coaching matters more than a little.For instance-when Miami starting fronting Melo in the 1st round series last year, Woodson has zero answers. He also had a huge talent deficit, but watching the Knicks try to throw the ball over the top to Melo for 22 seconds was painful.The Heat also fronted Duncan a lot, but you didn’t see any of that same deer-in-the-headlights from the Spurs.

      There probably isn’t data to suggest that coaching changes matter, but again, that’s probably due to too much noise to see the signal. Absence of evidence does not equal evidence of absence.90% of coaches are probably interchangeable, 10% make a positive difference, and 10% make a negative difference. That means in any given sample of 30 teams, 3 teams have really good coaches (say Thibs, Pop, and someone) and 1 or 2 teams have really bad coaches (Vinny Del Negro, NYK/LA version of D’Antoni, etc.).But there’s no signal because that means 24 out of the 30 coaches are just noise.

      also, no one can tell me that if pop was I charge of the Thunder, the Heat would have won 2 years ago. coaching matters. I will agree not to give spo any credit though, because overwhelming talent trumps everything

    58. maxwell_3g

      max fisher-cohen:
      Atlanta is not a favorite city of mine but then neither is Miami. ATL has what I imagine most NBA players look for: nice weather and a plethora of upscale dining and nightlife locations. It’s not NY, LA, San Fran, or Miami, but I’d put it right next to Chicago in the very next class. Problem is Hawks fans are possibly worse than Heat fans and their ownership has historically been pretty bad.

      ummmmm. this is my city that you are all talking about. Atlanta’s selling card is the approximate 37 to one female to male ration. unfortunately, NBA players don’t exactly need such a ratio to get laid. many nba stars have houses in atl or retire hear, but no one wants to play here. there is lack of tradition and poor ownership. however, Atlanta is being sold as the “Black Hollywood” where you can own like half a town for the same price as a condo in NYC, so i’m surprised no one jumps on board. maybe danny ferry will change this. as far as fans go, ATL fans are pathetic (we run Phillips Arena), but no one is worse than Heat fans

    59. Brian Cronin

      The Nuggets end up with Brian Shaw. I think Shaw is excellent. It shocks me that it took him this long to get a gig. He’s such a great player’s coach, it will be fascinating to see how the Nuggets respond to a player’s coach like Shaw after having an Xs and O coach for so long.

    60. massive

      The closer we get to the draft, the more I like Nate Wolters. He plays a very under control game, he’s a good passer, has a tight handle, and he’s a really good scorer. He even had a 53 point game this season. It’s also encouraging that he played 38.5 out of a possible 40 minutes a night for SDSU. His coach couldn’t take him off the floor. I know it means absolutely nothing, but take a look at this list:

      http://www.sports-reference.com/cbb/leaders/ows-player-career.html

      Wolters is #2 all-time on the Offensive Win Shares list in the NCAA (since the stat has been recorded for NCAA Men’s Basketball). A lot of no names on that list, but #3 and #4 are J.J. Reddick and Stephen Curry. But on the NCAA all-time Win Shares list, he’s #15. More people with recognizable names are on this list (Battier, David West, Faried, Curry, Reddick).

      http://www.sports-reference.com/cbb/leaders/ws-player-career.html

      I think, of all the prospects expected to be available at #24, he might be the best player available. I’m just scared to death of his footspeed. That’s the only thing that I can see holding him back from being a steal at #24.

    61. yellowboy90

      I wish Cannon was a better passer. The guy seems almost like the , perfect pg for the knicks given his shooting abilities.I really don’t know how to order Green, Wolters, and Cannon.

    62. Scorpio Dragon

      This. Exactly this. The reason players don’t go to ATL is because the fans are, in general, awful. But part of that is the fact that a lot of ATL are from other places. Prior to being “Black Hollywood”, it was the “Motown of the South” and the new Black “mecca”. Everybody I know that is in ATL now, is not from ATL. Eventually this will change, but for now it’s not a good basketball sports town.

      Baseball still rules there. That and Football.

      The city, itself, people tend to love, though.

      maxwell_3g: ummmmm.this is my city that you are all talking about.Atlanta’s selling card is the approximate 37 to one female to male ration.unfortunately, NBA players don’t exactly need such a ratio to get laid.many nba stars have houses in atl or retire hear, but no one wants to play here.there is lack of tradition and poor ownership.however, Atlanta is being sold as the “Black Hollywood” where you can own like half a town for the same price as a condo in NYC, so i’m surprised no one jumps on board.maybe danny ferry will change this.as far as fans go, ATL fans are pathetic (we run Phillips Arena), but no one is worse than Heat fans

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