4.10.2008

LIVE IT.




Skeets doesn't know this yet, but his live blog has, before it even started, motivated me to do one of my own. Of course, in FD-land that means I'll take notes, edit them heavily, and then post them an hour after the game's done. I wonder if Skeets knows that the greatest mitzvah is the one that goes undiscovered for several hours.

While I'm waiting for my cheesesteak to cool and sucking up my last cable news fumes of the day, let's talk about the scheduling of this game. Maybe I've said this before, maybe I haven't—I believe with all my heart that the East Coast is killing basketball. Late contests are hard to watch, especially if you're gainfully employed or a less-than-loony fan. Also, with the exception of the Lakers, Eastern teams are still more famous. So if shit basketball is what's at hand, and the Western teams are unseen and unknown, of course it would give the impression that the NBA blows.

Tonight's 5PM start is a present to the East, and a direct response to last year's Dallas/Golden State series. It changed the world, and no one saw it. They eventually heard about it, and might have tuned in for the last one or two. But by and large, America had no idea in advance, and it took a concerted effort for them to just watch the damn game. Come to think of it, they should have the Eastern Conference games later. Those are the ones that can't keep the casual viewer around. And only a die-hard homer cares about the Eastern Conference playoffs, anyway.

These notes will start once the game does.

-Question: Is this going to be one big, noisy, sleek game of chicken, or whatever the opposite of chicken is? I guess that would be "so much offense that it becomes passive and reflexive instead of aggressive"

-I don't think I've ever seen Marcus Camby with a man on him more than two feet from the basket. Ever.

-Monta has reached the point where you give him the ball on purpose for the tough shot.

-Seeing Kenyon Martin rage again is like finding out your favorite uncle got a haircut and quit drinking. Not because of the haircut, of course.

-Does anyone else remember that DIME article where Anthony Carter talks about earning money as a teen by playing on dealer-sponsored teams? Just makes you realize how utterly mundane shit like that must be around the league. Like everyone knew all along that Stephen Jackson was wearing gang colors. I guess in San Antonio, it might only have been Bowen who knew.

-I've got a new stat. It's what percentage of a possession is irreproducible, or at least unique and perfect like a snowflake. Like how much of it another team could ever/never hope to replicate. I'm assuming that, on the strength of Iverson alone, the Nuggets would lead the league.

-Watching J.R. Smith try and guard Baron Davis is so cute. Smith's so over-matched that he'd gone all textbook.

-Here, I'll say it one more time: The Warriors don't have the same swagger as last year. They're neither as reckless nor as gloriously imperfect. I blame it on Monta, who means they don't have to throw behind-the-back half-court alley-oops. A simpler way of saying that would be "Matt Barnes isn't on the floor as much."

-So far tonight Harlan and Collins have called J.R. "The Speed Merchant" and said "when he gets unraveled, look out!"

-Collins saying "the mood swings that are going to happen in this game" was kind of deep. For both of these teams, you get the sense that scoring (or not) and defending (or not) are a kind of personal momentum they can't really control. I'm not saying that they're monkeys governed only by emotions or something, but when they're "on", it's not just as clinical as "shooter finding his rhythm" or "having their opponent's number." Someone gets possessed, and it spreads. That's kind of how execution works here, or at least the preconditions it requires.

-I don't see how anyone could coach these teams without understanding that, which might explain why they have the coaches they do. And why I don't know if firing Karl makes sense, or exactly how you judge the job he's done. I want to say something about the inmates running the asylum here, but the whole thing's actually a rec actvity? Phil Jackson wishes he were this next level.

-That's probably too stark a distinction, but the Warriors and Nuggets are definitely at one extreme (paging Tom Ziller. . .) It's definitely consistent with Iverson's game, even if it makes Carmelo's whole master technician thing especially complicated.

-How about a sociological model: A popular revolution that starts overnight and keeps the old government around to balance the books? Not a bad idea, actually. Is that how the House and Senate were originally conceived of?

-Excuse me if this reads like a Baudrillard book about Nuggets/Warriors. I fucking hate that guy.

-Halftime. Time for some more MSNBC. I'll probably put this up sans pictures at the buzzer, and fill those in after 30 Rock. Typing on a couch is hell on my hands, so someone had better enjoy this.

-I'm boycotting the TNT studio crew. Barkley's funny, and does an excellent Tracy Morgan in the most recent T-Mobile ads, but being stubborn, knee-jerk and uninformed aren't exactly winning qualities. And they eat away at his whole "I'm outrageous and frank" cred.

-Welcome back. I'm man enough to admit that, in my mind, there's absolutely no difference between Chucky Atkins and Anthony Carter.

-If neither team can play defense, why are there so many bad shots flying up? It's not like these teams are incapable of ball movement.

-So I just tried asking Skeets, in flagrante de live blog, if Andre Miller really is the best oop-thrower in the league, because Collins won't shut up about it. He wouldn't answer.

-When Anthony makes a block like that, or suddenly blows past someone, I wonder if he doesn't practice some tantric, energy-conserving approach to athleticism.

-I'm not about to switch over to the Dallas/Utah game, but the box score makes it look like it's underwater, upside, and everyone's been chugging date rape drugs. Except for Dirk. Those thing all make him stronger.

-"Emotion and passion are two different things. Passion is unbridled joy that's kept under control" [sic]--Doug Collins. I don't remember what he said about emotion, but it was bad.

-That wasn't even cherry-picking on this last play by J.R. He was shuffling his feet right under the basket. Hadn't even thought about moving. If the game's moving fast enough, it's like it's not moving at all, right?

-I need to close this BDL blog, they're making me feel stupid.

-Wait, is this a third AVP movie? That's much more my comfort zone.

-Fuck it, I give up. I'm posting this and watching the rest of the game.

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31 Comments:

At 4/10/2008 11:08 PM, Blogger Leonardson Saratoga said...

I was just coming to terms with Golden State not being nearly as legit as they were last year, and fucking Dirk Nowitzki hits a cold blooded game winner. I fucking hate that guy, and I hate the Mavs. Thanks for being a career underachieving softie, fucko. Take your HJ from Cuban and get the fuck out.

 
At 4/10/2008 11:14 PM, Blogger Stumbleweed said...

JR god damnit. Carter shouldn't see the floor for more than 15 minutes a game. JR.

Yeah, as much as I was yelling to myself in my house after the game was over, I was sad to see the Warriors fall for the Mavs.

 
At 4/10/2008 11:16 PM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

The Warriors were fun and all, Baron and Jackson are folk heroes, and Monta is the Truth, but that team isn't the same. It's like that thing about Sonny Rollins reading reviews of his records and trying too hard to play like himself.

On the other hand, I have so much emotional baggage invested in the Nuggets I don't really have a choice but to want to see them do something special.

 
At 4/10/2008 11:37 PM, Blogger T. said...

When is the Saratoga vs. Zeke showdown then?

The major thing to remember is that S-Jax missed the first 7 games of the season.

 
At 4/10/2008 11:58 PM, Blogger Folkhero said...

Just yesterday, my friend, who is a Denver fan, was telling me how much he misses Andre Miller's lob passes. So their has to be some truth to it. They need to figure out a way to get him on the same team as the Matrix.

 
At 4/11/2008 12:08 AM, Blogger Leonardson Saratoga said...

i suppose i should take back "career underachieving softie" but i won't take back fucko. I just hate the dude, and these playoffs, as exciting as they will be, would be so much better with the nuggets AND the warriors (yeah, the 2007 Warriors, i'll admit it). Its a bitter pill to swallow to cheer for the Nugshow over the Warriors, but sometimes the game done changed.

 
At 4/11/2008 12:41 AM, OpenID tredecimal said...

I can't believe that Stevejack missing the first 7 games of the season is going to end up impacting the Warriors more than the Rockets missing Yao for the final 30. Hollinger said the other day he couldn't find any statistical measure that the Rockets were better with Yao on the floor. Strange, but true.
Jack's absence at the beginning of the year is only part of the missing swag, and by that I mean I agree on your discovery of the Monta/Barnes exclusionary principle tonight.
That's gotta suck for MB, to get part of the captaincy at the beginning of the year only to see his minutes disappear to the likes of K.Azubuike.

 
At 4/11/2008 1:01 AM, Blogger JG said...

If the Warriors could have somehow acquired Jason Richardson from the Bobcats in exchange for Brandan Wright, they'd be pretty good this year.

 
At 4/11/2008 1:10 AM, Blogger Zeke said...


"I was just coming to terms with Golden State not being nearly as legit as they were last year, and fucking Dirk Nowitzki hits a cold blooded game winner. I fucking hate that guy, and I hate the Mavs. Thanks for being a career underachieving softie, fucko. Take your HJ from Cuban and get the fuck out."


This roughly translates as "My vagina hurts. Wah Wah Wah!"

Things are a little different this year when Dirk isn't hobbled by bone spurs and Damp doesn't tear his rotator cuff now, aren't they? Those Warriors sure had a lot of fight in them last week when Dirk for all intents and purposes knocked them out of the playoffs, didn't they? Where's their swagger now? The Warriors were never legitimate, they were lucky to beat the Mavericks the first time around when their best player and starting center were far from 100 percent.

As for "career underachieving softie," Dirk didn't bitch and whine his way out of New Orleans and miss 50 games a year with a sore vagina now, did he? He didn't strip club shoot his way out of Indiana, did he? He just saved teh Mavs season on a high ankle sprain and you're still fucking stupid enough to call him a "career underachieving softie"? How many Finals appearances does Boom Fizzle and Captain Strip Club have?

He's never thrown his teammates under the bus or deflected criticism. He's the first guy to share the credit when things go well, he's the last guy to duck and run when they don't, and he's a gym rat that isn't satisfied with how far he's come. He's a stand-up guy in a league chronically short of them.

Payback and karma is a bitch, isn't it, Dubs fan? You can take your 3-point bricklayers and your drunk coach and get the fuck out of the playoffs. Ha Fucking Ha.

 
At 4/11/2008 1:15 AM, Blogger Zeke said...


The major thing to remember is that S-Jax missed the first 7 games of the season."



Well, I guess that's one of the perils of counting on guys that bring out their piece at a titty bar, isn't it?

Every team has their "ifs." If Yao doesn't get hurt, if Bynum doesn't get hurt, If the Mavs didn't have their rash of injuries around the All-Star break...

 
At 4/11/2008 1:18 AM, Blogger JG said...

Also, Doug Collins' job effectiveness over the years has been inversely related to the amount of time he spends in the salon.

- 80's (perm): coached MJ three years, only reached conference finals once
- 90's (natural): overachieved with Pistons; worked #1 NBC team with Costas during Marv's exile
- 00's (bleach): Wizards debacle; has lost more than a step in the booth

 
At 4/11/2008 1:20 AM, Blogger rebar said...

zeke is hilarious, if slightly misogynous.

could missing the playoffs be good for swag in the long run?

i really feel like trading jrich was a bad idea.

 
At 4/11/2008 1:32 AM, Blogger Zeke said...

I suppose the inference is that having a vagina is a negative trait, but I was just using it as a sports cliche.

I just get so damn tired of hearing that the guy is soft. He came back and saved their season on a high ankle sprain. I get tired of hearing that he sucks in the post season when his resume is better than all but about 6 or 7 active players that have multiple championships. He is one of the most unfairly maligned players in the NBA, and it's just fucking wrong, when you consider who he is and what he stands for.

He played on bone spurs last year because his team wasn't doing anything without him. It's an injury that is bad enough that Tony Parker was shut down earlier in the year by San Antonio because he was so ineffective. Dallas didn't have that option because it was late April. And it takes away from some of the credit that goes to the Warriors to call him a soft choker for that series. He didn't get worked over by Nellie like Avery did. He didn't "guard" Baron Davis, that was supposed to be Devin's job. None of his teammates stepped up and made the Warriors pay for those double and triple teams. I'm not going to be a Pollyanna and completely let him off the hook for that Warrior series, but it does need to be pointed out that he suffered that injury a month before the regular season ended and he was never the same after that:

http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/recap?gameId=270328006

He stepped up and played awfully well himself in the last two games of the Finals, but Wade matched him and Riley outdueled Avery.

The guy deserves better than the treatment he's gotten from the fans and the "experts."

 
At 4/11/2008 1:55 AM, Blogger Zeke said...

Duh! SJax won a ring with the Spurs. Point still stands, no team with him as their best player will sniff a Finals.

 
At 4/11/2008 2:09 AM, Blogger bring back chris porter said...

I'm not sure I buy that the Warriors are fundamentally different than they were last year. Their problem, this year, was one of scope. Last year, they really only played 20 or so games together, at the end of the season and during the playoffs when Nellie was grinding out 45+ minute games from Baron and Jack. And you could see it start to wear on them during the Utah series. This year, they tried the same thing for the entire season. The last 5 games or so have been horrible to watch. Baron had swagger but his body wasn't into it, and I don't think Jack has ankles anymore. Only Monta was unaffected, blessed child that he is.

 
At 4/11/2008 2:48 AM, OpenID peteyPowderBlue said...

"And why I don't know if firing Karl makes sense, or exactly how you judge the job he's done."

You can see if Karl has done his job well in any given game by using two metrics.

- Did J.R. Smith play more minutes than Anthony Carter?

- Did J.R. Smith play the bulk of the minutes in the fourth quarter?

Karl passed those two tests in the GSW game, so he's OK in my book for the moment.

-----

"Watching J.R. Smith try and guard Baron Davis is so cute. Smith's so over-matched that he'd gone all textbook."

He's been going all textbook on defense for the past three months, and voila, he's actually become the Nuggets' best perimeter defender.

The cruel irony of Karl's Anthony Carter fetish is that while Karl is supposedly playing Carter for defensive purposes, J.R. is actually a better defender right now.

Check out Baron's shooting in the boxscore. J.R. made him take difficult shots.

-----

The first half of that game was some tremendous back and forth basketball before the Nuggets put the hammer down in the second half.

Bubbachuck played as dominant a 48 minute game as he has in a Powder Blue uniform.

-----

Statistically, the Nuggets' problem isn't offense or defense. It's rebounding. And you could see that last night as the Warriors netted 14 extra possession via the boards. We miss Nene.

-----

And FWIW, Collins trots out that "they sure could do the alley-oop back in the Andre Miller days" bit every fucking time he does a Denver game. It may be embedded somewhere in his Turner contract.

 
At 4/11/2008 2:59 AM, Blogger Mr. Six said...

Sour grapes from a guy whose own vagina is still smarting from some year-old abuse is funny.

Dirk should get exactly the same treatment as Chris Webber. Everything bad that the world has to say about C-Webb applies to Dirk, and they'll probably retire with an equal number of rings. One might consider beginning to make one's peace with that more.

More importantly (at least to me), is that Avery has wrung the essential spark from Dirk's game, just as he's done with the Mavs as a whole. From where I sit (and I know others here will disagree), the Spurs, Jazz, and Mavs might as well be the same team. One of them in the playoffs is too many; three is nearly insufferable. The playoffs with the Dubs at least has the chance for some lightness of spirit and presto. The Mavs taking that spot just frees up some of my time during the playoffs and some space on my TiVo.

And I was at the Nuggets-Warriors tonight. Fun game. Nellie and Co. just didn't have any answers, and JR was key. The Nuggets were clearly playing better with him on the court in the first half, and with about 2 minutes left in the third quarter and the Ws staying close I thought, "Where's JR?" Karl, to his credit, actually connected the past with the future and inserted JR after that. (And AI got anywhere on the court he wanted to be. It's amazing how subtle his game has become.)

Finally, that youtubery of KB jumping over the Aston-Martin ... real or not, it's nice to see Nike and the Mamba figure out how to market the dude.

 
At 4/11/2008 3:49 AM, Blogger Brian said...

Mr Six -

Well, at least you're consistent.

Tarring the Spurs, Jazz, and Mavs with the same brush is exactly the same as ranking every player's place in history with the number of rings he has won: Uninsightful, unhelpful, and embarrassingly lazy.

The closest thing to a connection between the three is that they have the least ink-per-square-inch among the western playoff bound teams, so maybe that's what makes them so absent of presto.

 
At 4/11/2008 6:14 AM, Blogger T. said...

re: Dirk and clutchness from ESPN's Daily Dime:

Dirk Nowitzki hit a tie-breaking three-pointer with 0.9 seconds to play, giving the Mavericks a 97-94 win over the Jazz. During his NBA career, Nowitzki has made only five of 24 potential game-tying or go-ahead field-goal attempts in the last five seconds of regulation or of any overtime period (2-for-11 on three-pointers).

 
At 4/11/2008 8:15 AM, OpenID Gnomon said...

I always had a hard time, being European, seeing Dirk as soft. I've watched tons of Germany's national team games and Dirk was, withour question the leader of that team, *carrying* them on his back during countless knock-out games.

I know his history in the past 2 years does not help his case, but i think that if he was a chocker he would be a chocker on all levels: pressure can be pretty overwhelming in a World Cup or a European cup as well.

I think that the blame should be given at Avery for hat has happened these 2 years.

 
At 4/11/2008 8:26 AM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

PPB--

When I made that textbook comment, J.R. was in the kind of stance that went beyond fundamentals. Total over-enunciation. It was early on, and Baron had just bowled him over once or twice. But you're right--as awkward as it was, it seemed to work.

Also, can we just stop talking about the Mavericks?

 
At 4/11/2008 8:27 AM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

I don't really care if a player is soft.

Dirk was hurt last spring but could've been at least slightly present.

Avery made him boring.

That shot last night was rad.

THE END.

 
At 4/11/2008 8:45 AM, OpenID peteyPowderBlue said...

Dirk is actually constructed out of marshmallows, which gives his face that pasty pallor. And also makes him, yes, somewhat some to the touch.

But if you get Dirk around the campfire, he's the most popular guy around.

------

Too bad no one went all Jack McCallum on the Nuggets this season. The stories would've been good.

Better than the boring stories the Suns were able to tell.

Raise your hand if you think Shawn Marion is more compelling than J.R. Smith. I didn't think so.

 
At 4/11/2008 10:13 AM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

Not that anyone cares, but my new stat was about possessions, not "position."

 
At 4/11/2008 10:23 AM, Blogger Leonardson Saratoga said...

Zeke-
I redacted the "soft" statement, in case you read no further (which is the apparent case).

Also, in your teams media guide, it will forever say:
2007: 67-15; lost in FIRST ROUND to Golden State Warriors.

just reminding you.

 
At 4/11/2008 11:40 AM, Blogger Martin said...

I actually like the Mavs this season, I didn't like them last year but the addition of Kidd- a player I really like forced the liberated fan in me to start following the Mavs. I have always considered Kidd one of those unfortunate players to be stuck in a system that did not maximize their talents. Kidd was made to be teamed up with players like Shaq (in his prime), Duncan, KG, Dwight Howard or any other dominant big that just wanted to be "given the damn ball!" when and where they could best use it.

On the Nuggets, I find them hard to watch and not because I hate them, but because of my emotional attachment to AI. I know talk of AI’s 'desire' has become clichéd but fuck it- he just seems to want to win so much. Everything about AI speaks to his desire- from his almost manic hustle to his unrestrained sobbing on the bench after losing another hard fought playoff elimination game. If there is one player in the league I REALLY want win a ring its AI. My attachment to his success is almost akin to the fawning Farve gets from the media- well I said almost, not quite, some Farve fans go too far. All the same I genuinely feel saddened when I see AI fail and like Kidd I have always considered AI to be stuck in a situation that did not maximize his abilities. The non-trade in 2000 to Detroit set-up AI’s legendary 2001 season, but in hindsight I feel that AI would have been better off if the trade had gone through and sent him to the Dumars GMed Pistons. I am being speculative given the numerous variables that could have changed but just imagine if AI had gone to the Pistons and somehow the team ended up with a starting line up of:

PG- Billups (way better eric snow)
SG-AI
SF-Prince (way better Raja Bell)
PF-R Wallace (way better Tyrone Hill)
C- B Wallace (better mutombo)
Sixth man- Rip (way better Aaron Mckie)

That team still maintains the mould of AI’s 2001 squad with a talent/ability upgrade of each player.

 
At 4/11/2008 11:46 AM, Blogger Brown Recluse, Esq. said...

Ed Cota is the greatest lob thrower of all time. No contest.

Also, I still hate Andre Miller for that '98 Utah win over the Heels.

 
At 4/11/2008 12:14 PM, Blogger Zeke said...

I redacted the "soft" statement, in case you read no further (which is the apparent case)."

Yes, because "i won't take back fucko. I just hate the dude" is so much more well-thought out and rational. I usually prefer to talk basketball instead of Rivals.com messageboard smack, but if you want to whine like a bitch about your beloved 9 seed's epic fail at home and lash out in misdirected anger, I'll tango with you.



Also, in your teams media guide, it will forever say:
2007: 67-15; lost in FIRST ROUND to Golden State Warriors."


Yep. You know what it will never say?

2007: NBA Champions; defeated San Antonio Spurs in the Western Conference Finals.

If the Mavs couldn't beat the Warriors with Dirk hobbling around on bone spurs and our starting center tearing his rotator cuff, they sure as hell weren't going to beat the Spurs. The only thing Golden State accomplished besides "Where paying $75 for a We Believe t-shirt happens" is ending Dallas' season about 3 weeks prematurely. Congratulations on that, I hope you saved it on DVR to remember fondly when Nellie asks Cohen this summer for another raise and walks when he doesn't get it.

Dirk was hurt last spring but could've been at least slightly present.


Yeah, 19 and 10 is completely invisible. I'm not about to argue that he played well, but as that team was constructed, they needed 26 and 10 a night from him on 50% shooting in order to win. And I understand US sports media culture, when you win, you get ALL the credit, and when you lose, you get ALL the blame. He had a bad series. It happens. Nellie had a great gameplan and Avery couldn't adjust, his teammates couldn't knock down open shots, and he himself played right into Golden's State's plan of posting up smaller players in the half-court when they should've been running with them and taking pull-up jumpers on the wings. It's funny how freedarko seems to have devolved into infantile chokers analysis. I thought you guys were a bit more sophisticated than that.

I know his history in the past 2 years does not help his case, but i think that if he was a chocker he would be a chocker on all levels: pressure can be pretty overwhelming in a World Cup or a European cup as well.


Dirk is The Guy for the Mavericks. He's who they go to in the clutch. It's just ridiculous in my opinion to go to one extreme end of the spectrum or another. It's silly and stupid to call him a closer, and it's equally dumb to label him a choker. If you're a team's franchise player, you are going to be called upon countless times to deliver in crunchtime for your team. You will succeed AND fail many times.


"Dirk Nowitzki hit a tie-breaking three-pointer with 0.9 seconds to play, giving the Mavericks a 97-94 win over the Jazz. During his NBA career, Nowitzki has made only five of 24 potential game-tying or go-ahead field-goal attempts in the last five seconds of regulation or of any overtime period (2-for-11 on three-pointers)."



So he isn't good at throwing up desperation 3's...Why doesn't someone tell me who is? When it comes to tying or go-ahead shots in the last minute of a game, I would swear that I've seen a stat that shows Carmelo Anthony leads the league in such a category. Taking that into account, there's no way would I EVER consider him more clutch than Dirk or want to build a team around him first. Putting aside the age difference, I would take him over Melo in a heartbeat.


"Sour grapes from a guy whose own vagina is still smarting from some year-old abuse is funny."


I got no problem with what happened last year. The team fell apart in the final month of the regular season and limped into the playoffs. And I certainly was not among the lower-level section at the American Airlines Center cocaine and boobjob crowd that sits on their hands and considered beating the Warriors a mere formality. I fully expected a battle. I've never felt the need to bitterly whine about what happened, you take your lumps and move on. I want to be a good sport about things. But if sore-loser Warrior fan wants to commemorate the occasion of getting bitchslapped out of the playoffs by misdirecting some anger in my team's reaction, I will gleefully engage in schadenfreude.

 
At 4/11/2008 12:17 PM, Blogger Mr. Six said...

@ Brian:

Sorry, let me try to be a little clearer about those comments. I don't think Dirk is soft or a choke artist and wouldn't reduce his legacy to whether or not he won a ring. C-Webb is one of my favorite players. Both are inappropriately but similarly maligned. There are, however, criticisms to be made of each, and the FD community articulates them well. In Dirk's case, Avery has taken a fresh and inspiring game and made it conventional; whether or not it has also become more effective is debatable Regardless of what FD has to say about either Dirk or Webber, each's media narrative is set at this point, and railing against them at repeated length isn't going to change that. Repeatedly arguing against the "soft choke artist" narrative here is particularly bizarre, since few to none really think that about Dirk--or if they do, it's tempered with other more approving thoughts.

And you can list a lot more adjectives in an attempt to disprove my perception of the Jazz, Spurs, and Mavs, but they aren't substitute for an argument or likely to change my bottom line aesthetic perception of each: dull, weighed down by a deplorable sense of gravity.

 
At 4/11/2008 12:36 PM, Blogger Zeke said...


There are, however, criticisms to be made of each, and the FD community articulates them well. In Dirk's case, Avery has taken a fresh and inspiring game and made it conventional; whether or not it has also become more effective is debatable


I have a LOT of criticisms of Avery as a coach, from his questionable substitution patterns, micromanaging and his in-game strategic decisions, but I don't understand this aesthetic dissing of what he's done with Dirk. Requiring him to post up more when defenders crowd him out on the wings? How AWFUL. Turning him into something that isn't completely laughable on defense? Terrible. I don't care what anybody says, Dirk is a much improved interior defender, even if he'll never be mistaken for a member of the All-Defensive Team. It's what separates him from a stats padder like Amare.

Dirk was a rich man's Peja Stojakovic under Nellie. I would say he's expanded his game under Avery, and that's probably due to Holger more than his coach. Some of that is a natural progression and some of it is Avery. He's made a lot of mistakes as the head coach in Dallas, but one thing he did that absolutely right was make his team accountable to defend better, including Dirk. And I would say Dirk is a much better player now than he was under Nellie. I wonder if the fact that they play more of a half-court game and don't run as much is being put on Dirk too much. Unlike a lot of guys in the league, he will put aside his ego and his numbers and do what his coach says in order to win.

 
At 4/14/2008 5:10 PM, Blogger MC Welk said...

R. Brewer is neither dull nor weighed down by gravity: http://cbs.sportsline.com/nba/dunk-o-meter/yearly

 

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