“ESPN Shouldn’t Be Allowed To Make All-Time NBA Lists!!!! (DTS Podcast – #105)

ESPN recently put out its top-74 NBA players of all-time.

It’s just about the worst list in the history of lists.

I think I’ve found my #1 pet peeve.

This list seems to have been constructed by a 12-year old who thinks Steph Curry invented, founded, and perfected basketball….

And I guess I will never understand, why it’s so hard to understand the words ALL-TIME!

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NBA Installs Pillows On Every Team’s Bench

lebron-james-rest

It’s Saturday night. Dinner’s ready. Beer’s in hand. And I settle in to that a** groove in the couch directly in front of the TV. I flip to ABC to watch the highly anticipated match-up between the Golden State Warriors and the San Antonio Spurs, ya know, the game ESPN selflessly promoted for weeks, only to find that the game’s 8 best players were “scratched”. Angry, but still happy to have my feet up on the couch next to my wife, we found a movie, and the NBA lost my viewership for the evening.

This is known as the Resting Epidemic. NBA commissioner, Adam Silver, has acknowledged it is the NBA’s biggest problem, and he feels they have a solution. Their solution is highlighted in the NBA’s schedule for the upcoming season. Here are the most notable changes to the schedule:

  • The season will start 8 days earlier (a move from Oct. 25 to Oct. 17)
  • A record low back-to-back games (an average of 14.4 per team)
  • Elimination of 4 in 5’s (4 games in 5 nights)
  • Protection of Marquee Matchups on National TV

Allow me to elaborate on that last one. Marquee Matchups, such as Warriors vs. Spurs, are broadcast on ABC (National TV). These games carry higher ratings, which brings more advertisers, ergo everyone involved makes more money. So when millions tune-in to check out Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, Andre Iguodala, Kawhi Leonard, LaMarcus Aldridge, and Pau Gasol and NONE of them are playing, yeah, I’d say there’s a problem.

Well this year, the NBA will cater to the babie..ahem..I mean NBA players who feel they don’t get enough days off throughout the season. Ya know, the NBA players who get paid millions to play a game for a living. Yeah — those guys. This is the part when I talk directly into the camera….

Listen, I understand playing in the NBA is taxing on your body. You play thousands of minutes, travel thousands of miles, and probably have odder sleeping habits than me. BUT, you have professional trainers at your beckon call. You have personal chefs. You fly on private planes. And you stay in the nicest hotels imaginable. What the hell do you have to complain about?!?! Playing 4 basketball games in 5 days?!?! Boofreakinhoo!! Try working a 12-hour shift, just to race to your 2nd job where you work another 6-hour shift, to make just enough money to put food on the table for your kids (who you barely see). Then come back to me and tell me you still want to complain about playing in the 2nd game of a back-to-back. Spare me….

The fact that resting is the NBA’s biggest problem, is a sad reflection of our society. And the NBA’s response is even sadder. Rather than coming down hard by fining teams and players, they are coddling their superstars, proudly preparing them for nothing that closely resembles real life. So, when you tune-in to ABC this year for any of the Warriors’ 6 National TV games, they will be well rested. In fact, no team playing on ABC this year will be playing in the 2nd of a back-to-back.

The all-important question still remains: Will caving and pandering to every need of NBA’s superstars solve the NBA’s Resting Epidemic?? Or will NBA teams continue to rest players at inopportune times?? Only time will tell. My guess is it won’t help one bit….

 

What do you think?? Do you agree with the NBA modifying it’s schedule to get NBA players more rest?? Will it solve the Resting Epidemic?? Tell me what you think in the comment section below.

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The English Language Doesn’t Have A Word For What The Spurs Did To The Rockets Thursday Night

spurs

WOW!! Let me say that again. WOW!!!! Was that awesome or what?? I’ve never enjoyed watching an absolute blowout so much in my life. In case you turned the game off at halftime, it only got worse (for the Rockets). The San Antonio Spurs crushed, destroyed, demolished, routed, embarrassed, beat down, annihilated, obliterated, and most importantly eliminated the Houston Rockets on Thursday night (114-75). Yes, you read that score right. 114-75.

Game 6 started with the Spurs winning the tip-off. Lamarcus Aldridge received the ball in the low post, made a quick spin move toward the left baseline, and scored an easy basket. Just 23 seconds into the game, the tenor was set for the rest of the evening. Aldridge channeled his days as a Portland Trailblazer (where he averaged nearly 20 points and 9 rebounds per game), finishing with 34 points and 12 rebounds. He was unstoppable, and the rest of the spurs, sans Kawhi Leonard, followed suit. Before we get to the Spurs’ impressive performance, let us attempt to understand what happened to James Harden and the Rockets….

I’ve never seen such a pathetic performance from an MVP candidate, on his home floor, in an elimination game in my life. James Harden looked about as interested in last night’s game as this kid from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off:

ferris

Harden attempted just 2 shots in the 1st half. 2 shots!! Momentum is often thought of in a positive light, but I guess the awful momentum of Harden’s disastrous play at the end of Game 5 spilled over to Game 6. Harden finished with a season low 10 points on 2-11 shooting, and added a stellar 6 turnovers. His performance was inexplicable, but if Harden wasn’t making such a ridiculous salary, I’d be calling for a point-shaving investigation. It was that bad! But anyway, back to the Spurs….

Six Spurs scored in double figures. Jonathan Simmons, who started in place of Leonard, contributed 18 points on 8-12 shooting and played the best defense I’ve seen since the ’85 Bears (“Da Bears“). Rookie point guard, Dejounte Murray, played a fantastic game posting a double-double (11 points, 10 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals, and 1 block). Someone tell me how this kid fell to 29th in the draft?! This kid is going to be a very good point guard for a very long time. Pau Gasol, Danny Green, and Patty Mills had solid games, all scoring in double figures as well.

The Spurs have been typecast with playing a “boring” brand of basketball. I am sick of hearing that. If putting the ball in the basket efficiently, playing relentless defense, and winning is “boring”, then sign me up for some boring. And I’ll take a side of fundamentals with my boring please. In the age of hey everybody look at me, it is refreshing to see a franchise run like the Spurs. Sure, they have a superstar in Kawhi Leonard, but do you see him showboating? Complaining? Flailing his arms about looking for an imaginary foul? Flopping around like a fish out of water? The answer, to all, is an emphatic NO!

The Spurs, once again, proved why they are the cream of the crop in the NBA. They are heading to their 10th Western Conference Finals under Gregg Popovich (the coach since ’96-’97). I know, I know, this sounds a lot like the New England Patriots. Well, it’s because they are run very similarly. They don’t hand out contracts based on what you’ve done, rather for what you are going to do. They turn late round draft picks into stars. They don’t tolerate individual egos. And they are run with only one thing in mind; WINNING.

The question is, will they win against the contrasting style of the Golden State Warriors? Assuming Kawhi Leonard’s health, and as much as I don’t want to eat my words for doubting the Spurs, I still can’t envision the Spurs beating the Warriors 4 times in 7 tries. Can you?

Let me know what you think in the comment section below.

Since you enjoy my writing, follow me over to intheneutralzone.com where I am a contributing author there as well. You can also follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like me on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed it!

Everybody Ready For the Miami Heat To Start Trying??

Ready or not here come the NBA Playoffs. They will start today Saturday, April 20th at 3:00 p.m. when the Boston Celtics travel to New York to take on the Knicks. This is a very interesting series that carries many subplots on and off the court. As you all know, the city of Boston has gone through a heart wrenching week. While all are relieved that the persons responsible for the tragic bombings in Boston are dead or in custody, the city is still emotional right now. They also have a great sense of pride right now (as they should). The Boston Celtics would love to show their support to their great city and give it’s people something positive to cheer for. Beating the New York Knicks in the scheme of life means next to nothing, but it would even further unite the great people of their city. I personally feel for Boston. I think it is a great city filled with great people, and no one should have to experience what they have experienced over the past week. Again, sports are what they are, they are just games, but at times can mean so much more. New Yorkers know a little something about that. I feel that the Celtics team will give it their all and will take the Knicks to the limit in this playoff series. Now let’s talk about basketball for a minute. From a skill standpoint the Knicks are the better team with better players. However, if the Celtics are healthy and the Knicks are not, Melo and his boys might be in some trouble. The Celtics are a veteran squad who have playoff tested warriors. They know exactly what it takes to win. With all that being said, I still believe that Melo and the Knicks will be too much to handle for the Celtics. I believe this will be a hard fought series that will go the full 7 games. The home teams will stay undefeated throughout this series, and the Knicks will pull out a win at home in game 7. As for the rest of the playoffs, let me run down the schedule of games with each matchup and who I think will prevail:

EASTERN CONFERENCE

MIAMI HEAT (1) VS. MILWAUKEE BUCKS (8)
Game 1 @Miami: Sunday, 7 p.m. ET, TNT
Game 2 @Miami: Tuesday, 7:30 p.m. ET, NBA TV
Game 3 @Milwaukee: April 25, 7 p.m. ET, TNT
Game 4 @Milwaukee: April 28, 3:30 p.m. ET, ABC
*Game 5 @Miami: April 30
*Game 6 @Milwaukee: May 2
*Game 7 @Miami: May 4

NEW YORK KNICKS (2) VS. BOSTON CELTICS (7)
Game 1 @New York: Saturday, 3 p.m. ET, ABC
Game 2 @New York: Tuesday, 8 p.m. ET, TNT
Game 3 @Boston: April 26, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN
Game 4 @Boston: April 28, 1 p.m. ET, ABC
*Game 5 @New York: May 1
*Game 6 @Boston: May 3
*Game 7 @New York: May 5

INDIANA PACERS (3) VS. ATLANTA HAWKS (6)
Game 1 @Indiana: Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, TNT
Game 2 @Indiana: Wednesday, 7:30 p.m. ET, NBA TV
Game 3 @Atlanta: April 27, 7 p.m. ET, ESPN
Game 4 @Atlanta: April 29
*Game 5 @Indiana: May 1
*Game 6 @Atlanta: May 3
*Game 7 @Indiana: May 5

BROOKLYN NETS (4) VS. CHICAGO BULLS (5)
Game 1 @Brooklyn: Saturday, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN
Game 2 @Brooklyn: Monday, 8 p.m. ET, TNT
Game 3 @Chicago: April 25, 8:30 p.m. ET, NBA TV
Game 4 @Chicago: April 27, 2 p.m., TNT
*Game 5 @Brooklyn: April 29
*Game 6 @Chicago: May 2
*Game 7 @Brooklyn: May 4

WESTERN CONFERENCE

OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER (1) VS. HOUSTON ROCKETS (8)
Game 1 @Oklahoma City: Sunday, 9:30 p.m. ET, TNT
Game 2 @Oklahoma City: Wednesday, 7 p.m. ET, TNT
Game 3 @Houston: April 27, 9:30 p.m. ET, ESPN
Game 4 @Houston: April 29
*Game 5 @Oklahoma City: May 1
*Game 6 @Houston: May 3
*Game 7 @Oklahoma City: May 5

SAN ANTONIO SPURS (2) VS. LOS ANGELES LAKERS (7)
Game 1 @San Antonio: Sunday, 3:30 p.m. ET, ABC
Game 2 @San Antonio: Wednesday, 9:30 p.m. ET, TNT
Game 3 @Los Angeles: April 26, 10:30 p.m. ET, ESPN
Game 4 @Los Angeles: April 28, 7 p.m. ET, TNT
*Game 5 @San Antonio: April 30,
*Game 6 @Los Angeles: May 2
*Game 7 @San Antonio: May 4

DENVER NUGGETS (3) VS. GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS (6)
Game 1 @Denver: Saturday, 5:30 p.m. ET, ESPN
Game 2 @Denver: Tuesday, 10:30 p.m. ET, TNT
Game 3 @Golden State: April 26, 10:30 p.m. ESPN2
Game 4 @Golden State: April 28, 9:30 p.m. ET, TNT
*Game 5 @Denver: April 30
*Game 6 @Golden State: May 2
*Game 7 @Denver: May 4

LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS (4) VS. MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES (5)
Game 1 @Los Angeles: Saturday, 10:30 p.m. ET, ESPN
Game 2 @Los Angeles: Monday, 10:30 p.m. ET, TNT
Game 3 @Memphis: April 25, 9:30 p.m. ET, TNT
Game 4 @Memphis: April 27, 4:30 p.m. ET, TNT
*Game 5 @Los Angeles: April 30
*Game 6 @Memphis: May 3
*Game 7 @Los Angeles: May 5

“*” = if necessary

I will start with the Eastern Conference, as I think this it is the easier conference to predict. The Heat will sweep the Bucks. If they don’t it means something went horribly wrong. As I stated earlier I believe the Knicks will beat the Celtics in 7 games. The Pacers will take out the Atlanta Hawks in 5 low scoring affairs. Now, the Nets vs the Bulls will certainly be a fun series to watch. You have the tough physical defense of Chicago going up against the tough physical offense of Brooklyn. While I like Chicago’s style of play, I think they are too banged up and Brooklyn’s roster will prove to be too much. I like the Nets in 7 grueling games.

Let’s move on to the Western Conference and see what’s going to happen. James harden had a great season. He will also have the privilege of facing his former team in the 1st round of the playoffs. Sorry James, you are going to get swept. If you go off for 45 at home in game 3 or 4 you may have the pleasure of losing in 5 games. Otherwise you’ll get a souvenir broom to bring home with you. Everyone is telling me how good of a matchup this is for the Lakers. To that I say HAHAHA. The Spurs will handle Dwight Howard and the Lakers without much of an issue. Yes, Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol will play well, and two 7 footers are a lot to handle, but the Spurs are too good for the lakers. Period. I have the Spurs moving on in 5 games. The series that will be the most fun to watch is the Nuggets vs the Warriors. These are too fast paced high powered offenses that should try to outs ore each other. If you haven’t seen Stephen Curry play basketball yet, I have one word for you. Enjoy. However, Curry and David Lee can’t beat the Nuggets by themselves. Plus the Nuggets don’t exactly lose at home. I like the Nuggets in 6 games. Lastly, you have the best team in Los Angeles (the Clippers) taking on the Grizzlies. The Grizzlies are big and physical and they play defense, but they can’t beat the Clippers in a 7 game series. Sorry Memphis, but you will be going home in 6 games. Better luck next year.

Check back next year when the 1st round is finally over and I’ll give you my predictions for the 2nd round. Cut down the number of teams in the playoffs and you’ll solve a lot of problems. You may take money out of someone’s pocket, but it would be the right thing to do for the sake of the game. Enjoy the games everybody, and for objectivity’s sake: Let’s Go Knicks!!!!

If you enjoy my writing, follow me over to intheneutralzone.com where I am a contributing author there as well. Also you can follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like me on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed it!

The Los Angeles Lakers….Oh how the mighty have fallen

So I have this friend that is a “Big” Lakers fan.  You know the type, they talk all kinds of smack when they’re great, and they try to explain to you how they knew this was going to happen now that they’re spiraling out of control.  He’s the type of fan that probably hopped on the Lakers bandwagon around the turn of the century, you know when Shaq was still there and they started winning consecutive titles again.  So rewind to before the preseason even started, and let me recap what this “fan” had to say.  “Dude, there is no way the Lakers aren’t going to win the title this year”.  “Did you see that picture of our starting five?”  Yeah, well that “all-star” caliber starting lineup has only played 132 minutes together so far this season.  How’s that working out for you?  I’m here to tell you who’s to blame for this train wreck, and that their season, while it has been a disaster so far is not completely lost yet.  Any major problem you have in an organization, a business, or even your own family always starts at the top.  Let me see how I can say this without having a potty mouth, ummmm, okay got it: “poo doesn’t travel uphill.”  The problems in a family don’t start with the kids, they start with the parents.  The problems with a business don’t start with the $12/hour employee, they start with the owner(s).  So, why would the dysfunction that is the Lakers have started with the players?  It obviously started with ownership and upper management and trickled down to the coach and finally has effected the players negatively.  So when you watch the Lakers struggle on both ends of the floor, you can’t blame Kobe Bryant, and you can’t even blame Dwight Howard.  For the root of the Lakers struggles let’s look up, first at Jerry Buss.  Yes, I said Jerry Buss.  Who is that is ruining one of the greatest franchises in sports history?  That would be Jim Buss.  And, who is it that made Jim Buss Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations for the Lakers?  Yes! You are correct again, that would Jerry Buss.  I’m tired of these ultra wealthy business men whom mostly created their multi-million dollar businesses on nothing but hard work and a brilliant idea, just handing over their fortunes to their self-entitled kids.  Our kids don’t always turn out to be carbon copies of the best form of ourselves(as much as we want them to).  Just because daddy was a great entrepreneur and knew how to run one of the most successful sports franchises of all time, doesn’t mean little Jimmy Buss can follow suit.  With that being said, and now that Jim Buss is making decisions in Los Angeles, we can all point our fingers at him.  Jim Buss decided this past November to hire Mike D’Antoni, not Phil Jackson.  I know that all of you reading this already knew that but let me write that again.  HE HIRED MIKE D’ANTONI OVER PHIL JACKSON!  So as hard as it was to get past that, let’s get past that.  Now am I saying that the Lakers would be 25-17 instead of 17-25?  Most of you might say no, but I’d say uh, yeah maybe they would be.  We are talking about PHIL JACKSON HERE!  He’s one of if not THE greatest coach of all time.  Again, we can’t change the past so let’s analyze the present.  Let’s keep playing the blame game(I don’t know about you, but I’m having fun with this)and all point our fingers at Mike D’Antoni.  Mike D’Antoni is not the answer for the Lakers.  With that being said, I don’t know if Mike D’Antoni is the answer for anyone in the NBA.  His style of coaching, if you can call it that, just doesn’t win championships.  See, this is isn’t the Minnesota Timberwolves who were content just getting to the Conference Finals.  The Lakers are like the Yankees, it’s championship or bust.  Everyone is asking if the players should be adjusting to their coach or if the coach should adapt to the players on his roster?  This is a very dumb rhetorical question if you ask me.  Obviously, the answer is the coach must tweak his coaching “system” to fit the players on his roster.  Players in the NBA are who they are.  That mind sound vague or confusing, but it’s true.  You can’t ask Kobe Bryant to lock down the other teams best player and then score 30 points on 65% shooting every night.  As great as he still is, he’s not 24 anymore.  You also can’t expect Steve Nash and the rest of these three toed sloths to sprint down the floor and play at a pace that’s better fit for an Olympic track.  No disrespect to Steve Nash, Pau Gasol, Dwight Howard, and that guy who changed his name to the most outrageous thing I’ve ever heard, but they are just too old and too slow to play at this frenetic pace.  That’s like taking a 1988 Pontiac station wagon out to the race track and expecting to blow by people on your way to the checkered flag.  It just doesn’t work like that.  Now, like I said earlier, I don’t believe D’Antoni is the answer in L.A., but I don’t see the Lakers firing another coach mid-season and carrying anymore extra payroll.  So it looks like they’re stuck with D’Antoni, for now.  I read an exchange between Grantland’s Zach Lowe and Bill Simmons last night.  It was actually pretty interesting.  They were pretty much saying how D’Antoni is so stubborn, he’d rather go down with the ship then try to adjust his own style.  Here is an excerpt from Bill Simmons:”He’s basically saying, I’m here only because of my system.  I can’t actually coach.  If you give me the wrong players for my system, it doesn’t matter – I will keep using the system anyway, because Plan B would be coming up with a more inventive way to coach these guys.  And I can’t do that.  I’m not good enough.  So if it’s OK with you, I’d like to go down in flames with my system.”  Personally I think he is spot on with what should be going through D’Antoni’s head.  I’m sure he’s already gone through this kind of inner conflict, when he was the coach of the Knicks.  If only someone in the Lakers organization had sat down Jim Buss, taped his eyes open so he couldn’t look away, and forced him to watch the first half the Knicks 2011-2012 season, they might not be in this predicament.  This is like a horrible remake of an already horrible movie.  We all know how it’s going to end.  So now that we’ve established the chain of command that put this in motion, let’s talk about the players on the floor.  Everyone is also trying to blame Kobe Bryant for the Lakers troubles.  To those critics I say, are you out of your mind?  Kobe Bryant is 34 and is having another phenomenal season.  Also, to the critics who try to call Kobe a selfish player, he is in a system that asks him to shoot as many times as possible.  People are also trying to blame Dwight Howard for their struggles.  Yes, he’s having a down season compared to his own standards, but he’s still averaging 16.7 points, 12 rebounds, and 2.5 blocks per game.  Man, what horrible numbers, especially on a team that has Kobe Bryant shooting as many shots as humanly possible.  What also boggles my mind is why Dwight Howard has been playing through an injury that is obviously affecting his play.  They should have rested him until he was 100% or as close to 100% as he can get before playing him.  Dwight Howard can become a free agent at the end of this season, so the Lakers should be doing everything in their power to keep him healthy, happy, and in purple and gold next season and many more seasons to come.  Now on to Pau Gasol.  He is a special talent, and can be a key component to a championship caliber team.  Don’t believe me?  Just check Gasol’s numbers and minutes from their last two championships.  This, just like every other players struggles can be attributed to one person, Mike D’Antoni.  Which leads me to another great point that Bill Simmons made yesterday, he said: “I’m glad we finally got to Pau.  Here’s a good rule of thumb: If you’re a professional basketball coach and your system is telling you, “I should play Early Clark more than Pau Gasol,” you need a new system.”  I couldn’t really come up with a better way to say that, so I let him say it for me.  Thanks Bill.  In closing, if you ask me what the solution is, you have to do what no one in the world would do, fire D’Antoni, and hire a 3rd coach in a single season.  From a purely wins and losses perspective, this is the only move Jim Buss should be thinking about.  Unfortunately we all know that owning a sports team is strictly a business venture for 99.9% of owners, and he’s not going to come out of pocket to hire a 3rd(even if it would be the right one, cough, The Zen Master, cough)coach.  Little Jimmy is probably upset that Phil’s setting up shop with his little sis.  Resentment is an ugly character trait, Jim.  Especially when it aids in your own self-sabotage.  The other fix I would make is to play to Kobe, Pau, and Nash’s strengths.  And that is to let Nash orchestrate the offense like he knows how, while favoring the Kobe side of the floor slightly in each possession.  Let Dwight Howard get healthy, and I’m sure you’ll see the production we’ve all been expecting.  Now as for Pau, get him the damn ball inside the post!  He’s a great passer for a big man so even he can find Dwight Howard from there.  And most importantly he is a great low-post player, stop forcing him to shoot 18 footers.  If you take time to look at his numbers, you’ll see that they are far better when he is inside the paint opposed to outside roaming the earth, like Quentin Richardson in that old D’Antoni Pheonix system.  How dumb are the Knicks by the way(says the Knicks fan)?  Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me, and fool me 3 times, well I don’t know what you call that.  The D’Antoni “system” got us with Quentin Richardson, Amare Stoudamire, and then Mike D’Antoni!!  Really?!?!?  Come on Man(said in a Keyshawn Johnson voice)!  Finally, let Ron/Metta I’m not calling him that scare the other teams best player into submission.  Or play physical, whichever way you want to go with it.  The Metta guy isn’t what he used to be either, but if he stops expending energy on the offensive end and focuses all his efforts to the defensive end, they might have a recipe for success.  Back to reality we go, the Lakers need to win between 25 and 29 games to have a shot at the playoffs.  Is it likely? No.  But, I’m telling you there is a chance.