Yes, we're still going
So here’s the deal.
I think we can keep this going Monday-Friday, at least throughout the rest of the playoffs. Not sure there’ll be a lot of stuff every day and we might end up spreading mail in throughout the week but what the heck, you folks have asked and we should try to deliver.
So keep clicking so the bosses stay aware that this thing’s pretty good.
Now, had a couple of requests for a “report card” on the players, coaches and season. I generally don’t like them – they are far too subjective – but what the heck. I’ll put grades on but they will be based on a player’s ability, not against the rest of the league. A ‘C’ is an average year for that player. Let the arguments begin.
Guy missed 31 games and the best one he played was night he got hurt in Atlanta. Oh, what might have been.
Almost exactly the same averages (12.5-12.4, 4.1-3.9) as a year ago for Mr. Consistency. He brings same effort every night.
They asked an awful lot of a rookie and for the most part he delivered. Led the team in deflections, which is a stat the coaches love.
Rebounding numbers were down (8.7-10.7) but field goal percentage practically the same and here’s something: He was the
third-best fourth-best three-point shooter on the team (40.0)
Was supposed to make his NBA chops as a shooter and then his shot left him in a woeful second second. Still, he is 22 and has lot of time to grow.
No, I have no idea where they would have been without him in the second half of the season.
Made himself a lot of money, and likely earned himself next year’s starting assignment with a fine season. Needs to improve defensively.
If Parker was Mr. Consistent, he was Mr. Inconsistent but when he was going good, he was all over the stat sheet. Tough off-season call.
Part him, part coaching, part scheme but he was a non-factor in the regular season. Playoffs provided hope.
Fell out of favour because he tried to do too much, as he always does. Also hurt by the emergence of Nesterovic.
Guy’s had all the chances he’s going to get here. And has never, ever seized the moment.
Hardly an impact free agent signing.
Oh, what might have been.
Oh, what never will be.
Did he have his best year? No, not by a long shot. Some of Bargnani’s failings are on him, as he admits, but he didn’t have a Celtic-like roster to work with.
Moon was a great find, Kapono wasn’t the greatest of acquisitions but when he went out to make trades, it’s not as if he had a wealth of riches to do deal.
So there you have it, a bunch of average guys who had average years. Anyone really surprised they finished 41-41?
Not a lot of you know Jim LaBumbard and his merry band of media relations types but writers and broadcasters sure do. So it came as no surprise the Jim And His Peeps (Jamie Deans and Roven Yau specifically although Declan The Intern and Before Him Stephanie were on the team at times, too) were named the media relations staff of the year in voting by the Professional Basketball Writers’ Association.
The award’s only been around for two years and for them to win it is quite the feather in the cap.
In this era where too many teams employ Media Relations Obstructionists, finding a group that’s fair, willing to help and willing to go to bat for the writers is refreshing.
So, since I’ve got some time on my hands these days, actually got to lay on the couch last night and watch basketball. And I can just say that if the Washington Wizards weren’t such dopes that they riled up LeBron in those first few games by being knuckleheads with their comments and goons with their fouls, they’d be winning that series rather than clinging to life.
LeBron’s supporting cast is average, at best, and the Wizards have no one to blame but themselves for the predicament they’re in.
Oh, and does anyone still in the playoffs woof more than James Posey?
Let’s get a mailbag query, and we’ll have the usual Friday mail tomorrow, too:
Q: Hi Doug, what do you know about the players' exit interviews? Who's involved (any coaches or agents)? How long do they last?
We obviously know what's discussed in TJ's interview, but what do they spend the majority of the time talking about with the others, the past season or next season? Do they offer specifics on what skills to work on in the summer?
Michael K, Toronto
A: Not sure what the reference is to T.J. so I’ll let that pass.
The interviews take 10, 20 minutes, are with the coaching staff, Bryan and the player, no agents allowed. They go over things the team wants them to work on over the summer, a summer schedule and they just chat about what’s gone on. Players also get checked over by the team’s medical staff to make sure they’re all right heading off to their homes.
So, Avery Johnson is out in Dallas, there’s rampant speculation that Mike D’Antoni’s done in Phoenix, there is some questions about P.J. Carlesimo in Seattle, Chicago’s still looking for a coach and so is New York. Did I miss anyone? Oh, I probably wouldn’t want to be Flip Saunders if the Sixers some how eliminate the Pistons. And who knows what those wacky people down in Atlanta might do.
What did I mention the other day about Best Off-Season Ever? Looks like it’s not only players who’ll be moving around.
One question though: How did Avery Johnson and Mike D’Antoni get to be such bad coaches? Oh, wait. They had owners meddling in humongous mid-season trades. Too bad you can’t fire owners.