Thursday, May 01, 2008

10 NBA Thoughts

1) Avery Johnson is out of Dallas after the team lost its ephemeral toughness while continuing to outspend its opposition. If John Paxson has an ounce of intelligence left, he offers the job to Johnson immediately.

2) Mike D'Antoni is likely out in Phoenix, after the Shaq trade resulted in a 1st-round knockout via ... the Spurs. Here's some free advice to D'Antoni. When Atlanta bows out of the playoffs and does not renew Mike Woodson's contract, vouch for the job. The Hawks are young, can run and they have more than one player who can play defense (the Suns had 1, Raja Bell). With a legitimate regular season head coach, the Hawks can retain the Joshes (Smith and Childress).

3) Perhaps, it's the fact that I live in the Washington DC area, but I really enjoyed watching The Traveling LeBrons lose last night at home. In the last five games, I have a few learnings to share.

First and foremost, the Wizards are a better team without Gilbert Arenas. There, I said it. No one wants to say it except the Gil haters. Here's a fan of Gil expressing this.

Secondly, this series reminds me of Knicks/Heat ... minus the talent and execution.

Third, pardon me. Anderson Varejao and Zydrunas Ilgauskas thought I was wearing a Wizards jersey and climbed my back. Meanwhile, DeShawn Stevenson just got a tech for not closing his yap. We all know it's really for his hideous beardage.

4) What is the over/under on Larry Brown in Charlotte? Let's go with three seasons. I know everyone wants to hate on Michael Jordan, the executive, but what other coach who's available can better instill toughness into a young, soft team? Sure, the players will hate Brown by the All-Star break next year, but they'll be playing meaningful games after that. If I were Larry Brown, what would my first action be? Force Adam Morrison to shave the 'stache. College is over.

5) Kevin Durant won the Rookie of the Year award and I couldn't care less. To be honest, I expected more from him and everyone else. Had Rick Adelman not pulled a Doc Rivers and changed his lineup every night for the first half of the season (sans Yao/McGrady), Luis Scola would have had a very strong argument.

6) When I'm 37, I hope I look this young .

7) Dear Detroit Pistons players and coaching staff: You are in the playoffs and you are not playing Dwight Howard yet.

8) Did you know Zimbabwe was having an election? Ok, that has absolutely nothing to do with the NBA. It's more provocative than some of the Eastern Conference matchups though. Furthermore, it'll be as clean as last year's NBA Draft Lottery.

9) Can Utah just do us all a favor and end the series, so the second-round matchups can start sooner in the Western Conference? Thanks.

10) The playoff runs for high payroll teams like Dallas, Phoenix and Denver can be summarized in 4 seconds.

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