Tag Archives: Mike D’Antoni

Waiver Wire: Is Dwight the Problem?

Many thought this Lakers team was a mortal lock for the Western Conference Finals, if not the NBA Finals. I had them losing to Oklahoma City in the West Finals, primarily because of the Steve Nash/Russell Westbrook defensive matchup, but why quibble – even projecting them to make the conference finals was a gross over-estimation of their collective ability. They stumbled out of the gate, getting Mike Brown fired in the process, and have yet to show any sign that they’ll turn things around.

The Lakers have a host of problems, but many of them can be traced back to Dwight Howard. He’s been an awful fit playing alongside Kobe Bryant. He doesn’t like being a complementary player on the offensive end – even though he’s probably the Lakers’ fifth-best scorer. His presence has pushed Pau Gasol out of position. Gasol has been ineffective playing the four, fallen out of the starting five, and like Howard, taken to sulking about his role.

What’s Mitch Kupchak to do? He may have an out. Stop me if you’ve heard this one before, but according to reports, Dwight Howard is unhappy, isn’t sure what he wants to do with his next contract, and may be traded at the deadline. It might make an awful lot of sense for Kupchak to cut his losses and see what he can get for Howard, rather than risk losing him for nothing in the offseason. A deal sending Howard to his hometown Atlanta Hawks could bring back Josh Smith, a deal that might make sense for both teams.

Of course, there’s a very real possibility that Jim Buss was the real force behind the Howard trade, which could complicate matters significantly. Not to mention Howard’s lingering shoulder injury, which caused him to leave Wednesday’s game. (He should be back in action on Friday.)

via Waiver Wire: Is Dwight the Problem? – RotoWire.com.

Mike and ‘Melo, ‘Melo and Mike

Max and Ruby, Ruby and MaxParents reading this are familiar, no doubt, with Max and Ruby – that most reprehensible of television programs.

For the uninitiated, here’s a quick summary:

Max and Ruby are cute and fuzzy bunnies who live together in a big house. Everyone in their town has adult supervision, but Max and Ruby appear to be on their own most of the time… which is odd; as an active member of the Bunny Scouts, Ruby seems far too young to be the primary caregiver for her younger brother.

Ruby’s role as caregiver is the primary driver of action in the stories. She tells Max what to do… sometimes because she’s providing proper supervision, sometimes because she just wants the little guy out of her hair.

Max never, ever listens to her. He does whatever he wants. And in the stories, it always works out perfectly for him. The over-arching lesson seems to be, “Do what you want. As long as you’re cute, everything will be OK.” My daughter, sadly, has taken this message to heart.

Which brings me to the Knicks.

Some fans might have been pleased to see the Knicks lay a 40-point smack-down on the Trail Blazers last night. I was not among them. To me, that game was the basketball equivalent of watching a toddler get his way after throwing a tantrum.

I know I’m not alone in thinking that D’Antoni’s system should have made Carmelo Anthony a super-duper star. It certainly suit him when he played for Team USA in Beijing. But for whatever reason, Anthony was unwilling – maybe even unable – to do the things his coach wanted from him this season.

In this somewhat tortured metaphor, D’Antoni is Ruby. He tries to get his way – sometimes for the right reasons, sometimes not. ‘Melo is Max. He does what he wants, and there’s no repercussions. The Knicks proved that by forcing D’Antoni’s departure.

Choosing the player over the coach makes perfect sense. After all, the Knicks are committed to Anthony for years to come, while D’Antoni’s deal was set to expire at season’s end. But here’s the problem with giving in to temper tantrums, to kids that just don’t listen. They learn, very quickly, that screaming and yelling will get them what they want. That they can do as they like without any repercussions.

And that’s no way to run a family or a basketball team.

Working the Wire: Knicks Find a Point in the Oddest Place

Just posted to Rotowire – this week’s fantasy NBA waiver recommendations. To the surprise of no one, I led with Jeremy Lin:

Now, I don’t want to be accused of irrational Knick-fan exuberance here… the “MVP” chants at Madison Square Garden last night were a little much. And I don’t think Lin compares with other top point guards in terms of talent alone. But he’s got a quick first step, excels in the pick-and-roll game, and is very good at finding teammates cutting to the basket. That makes him an excellent fit for Mike D’Antoni’s offense. And as a bonus, he’s better-than-advertised on the defensive end.Lin is a must-add in just about any fantasy format, but you’ll have to act fast. He’s taken in 46 percent of Yahoo leagues and 48 percent in ESPN/NBA – but he was close to zero before the weekend.

via Working the Wire: Knicks Find a Point in the Oddest Place – RotoWire.com.

Also in this week’s column – the Billups/Gallinari injuries and how the Nuggets and Clippers could help each other, and this week’s waiver picks.

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