Tag Archives: Tom Thibodeau

Real Quick: NBA Coaching Conundrum

By Opinionated MJ (Michael Tolliver)

I’ve got a few problems with the makeup of these organizations and the moves they’ve been making when it comes to coaching. I was shocked by the latest move by the Milwaukee Bucks to fire Jason Kidd. I believe in a few things when it comes to coaching, and the most important thing to me is development and building confidence. I’ll have to get to those later. There are more important things I’ve got to make clear first.

Support Your Superstar

What happened to the teams that know they must keep their star happy? What exactly happened here? Was Giannis in on the firing or did the organization just notify him? Did he tell them OK and “act” as if he was panicking to Kidd, or does he really want him there. I think it’s the latter. Jason Kidd was making a huge impact on the trajectory of Giannis Antetokounmpo. Kidd just helped the Bucks return to the playoffs and you’re already ready to cut him short? What has reportedly happened between him and the owner or the players that didn’t even allow him to be considered on the “hot seat” before receiving his pink slip? He told Giannis that all he could do to help him was to, “tell the truth”. This leads me to believe that if Giannis reveals anything in Kidd’s favor, I expect him to leave when his chance comes. I’ve seen this story play out too many times. Only Steve Kerr was able to help his team ascend and keep everyone in tow in the process. Plus none of the Warriors were considered the potential heir to LeBron James (or KD) in being the next best player in the world.

Business Comes Before Personal

What happened to the organizations that would at least wait till season’s end before they made drastic moves? Especially to a team that could potentially contend. Another big problem is that coaches have been thrown under the bus while their best players are hurt. Let me repeat that, coaches have been thrown under the bus and/or fired while their best players are hurt. This has always thrown teams off going forward. A few of the coaches who met an axe with injured stars were Mike Malone, Tom Thibodeau, David Fizdale, and now Jason Kidd. Malone had DeMarcus Cousins out, Thibs didn’t have Rose, Fizdale didn’t have Mike Conley, and Jason Kidd was missing Giannis for multiple games going forward and over the last couple of seasons, he’s not had Chris Middleton and Jabari Parker for extended periods. This team has very rarely been healthy and able to play at full strength.

Personal History

Some people, players, coaches, General Managers, assistant coaches, honestly everyone at some point in their lives doesn’t get a fair shake because someone is judging the others based upon reasons that actually don’t affect them in their workplace, in a business relationship, or in a friendship. Apparently Jason Kidd got the job because of his personal relationship with those in the Front Office, so now what’s to be made of it? If people from every profession can coexist and succeed, you don’t always have to like one another. I think we live in a much more sensitive time now where personal feelings has become more important in professional everything than simply putting together a successful team and being successful. It’s not great to be around a bunch of yes men who never test you or tell you truths. Hopefully the Bucks find their mid-season Steve Kerr or we’ll see the ramifications of impatience decimate them going forward. Anyone remember Phil Jackson being allowed to walk away from success while with the Lakers on his own? I also remember why they didn’t get him back but instead went with D’Antoni. We know everything that took place thereafter.

Good luck Bucks! Hopefully you haven’t destroyed Giannis chances to be 2018 MVP.

Rambling Thought: Homing In On the Playoffs

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By: Opinionated MJ

The lay of the land currently has Detroit down 0-2. We’ve got heart and we will beat Cleveland. Home cooking is ours next! LeBron’s team showing life. I know what LeBron can do but what can his team do going forward?

I see Dwayne Wade is transforming into his old self. I predicted the Heat would meet and beat the Cavs in this playoff. I thought Charlotte would serve up better competition but the Heat are home. I believe in home court. It’s a reason why they play for it. Losing game 1 on your floor is the only possible problem.

Toronto has given me reason to believe that they can’t make it from just being in the playoffs, early rounds. I guess Stephen A. Smith is saying that DeRozan is gone to the Lakers. So who will follow? That could lead to all types of deals or maybe the Lakers then go draft a big man or Ben Simmons. I’ll go with my cousin on Simmons. I also think the Lakers will land the #1 pick. The league loves them and that’ll be their reward for themselves to find a way to keep relevance in L.A. post-Kobe. How else would they? Are the trio enough going into next year? I believe Randle, Russell, and Clarkson could have a future together.

Paul George has been playing big for the Pacers. Literally. I don’t think anyone has given any real attention to his ascension since Larry Bird wanted him to play the 4. Results for sure.

Boston is one player away. When will Danny Ainge trade some of his picks away to lure in a player? Carmelo to Boston by any chance? Could that be what Boston is missing or do they need more defensive wings to couple with Isiah Thomas?

Tom Thibodeau has become the head coach of the Minnesota Timberwolves. Look out league. KG ties into the defensive philosophy from the Boston Championship team. Could provide even more boosts to the grow of their young core. Expect them to make noise in the league next year and be like Utah from this season. Except, I actually expect PLAYOFFS from them. I’m a big fan of Thibs. Wonder if D-Rose for Ricky Rubio would work for both teams? They’re playing a good Atlanta team with some experience.

Does Mark Jackson actually land in Sacramento? Would that be a good fit? You’d think he’d need some shooters or change their philosophy to such. Wait, Seth Curry & Mark Jackson! STORY TO WATCH!

I’m a Lillard fan and I believe he will perform as always. He probably needs another option in case someone else deflates in some games. I see him making a huge push in the future with another piece. Durant? Dwight? DeRozan? Maybe not. Doesn’t have a ring to it. Maybe a rookie big man whose two-way abilities are already with him. Chris Paul is a monster and with Blake having had to watch while he was hurt, we all got to see who needs to dictate the Clippers offense. They need Blake just the same too. I’d like to see Portland’s home-stand.

The Spurs have an easy series. They will sweep. Nor am I worried about the Warriors. Sweep with or without Stephen Curry. The prospect of that is dangerous, if you see it how I do.

What exactly are KD & Russ going to do? It’s Russ’ team due to him being healthy with this new group of players acquired last year all while Kevin Durant was out with injury. Notched triple-doubles, massive scoring nights, facilitating, MVP consideration, almost a playoff berth, and learning his teammates and their spots. He’s racking assists cause he finds them in their hotspots directly from an offensive attack. KD must fit in more and become the Assassin always or we should begin to want Russell to take those big shots equally as well. This series is crazy. Dallas with a win going back home. This will definitely be some fun basketball. Quiet rivalry, in my opinion. I won’t be able to call this series til the 5th game. It’ll go 6.

Early Prediction: Warriors Vs Heat in Finals. Warriors in 6. Would be an amazing story for their team if they beat LeBron then Dwayne Wade for their back to back titles.

 

20+ Games Left To Go As The NBA March Madness Continues

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By: Opinionated MJ

What a season thus far that we’re having! April is just around the corner. We’ve watched the steady Knicks fall hard from being a .500 team, we’re currently watching the Cavs implode as far as trust is concerned, we seen the Heat improve by adding Joe Johnson into the fold, we’ve also seen the dynamic duo of Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant lose big games against the Warriors and Clippers. My Detroit Pistons seem to get better one piece at a time, the Bulls have fallen out of the playoff picture (as of this moment at least) and we have no idea what to make of any other team besides the Warriors & Spurs when it comes to actually being true contenders for the championship.

I’ll go in order, firstly, the Knicks. Derek Fisher gets fired midway during a skid although he helped get the Knicks off to a good start. I think it’s time for this team to start thinking “Porzingis” instead of “Melo & Porzingis” and build this team around the rookie going forward. Allow Melo to go wherever he wants as long as they can get some decent players in return and hopefully some picks, even if they’re second round picks. They need youth going forward to continue their rebuild. They should’ve never given away Tim Hardaway Jr. I think he would’ve served as an important piece going forward. They also need to go all out and hire Tom Thibodeau before the Lakers do.

Now on to the Cavaliers. LeBron James… He’s praising Stephen Curry, he’s in Miami, he’s sending out tweets, he’s doing everything to keep the media full of things to talk about and, if true, he’s continuing to give his teammates reason to believe he doesn’t trust them. He didn’t trust them enough in the finals after game 3, and he doesn’t trust them now even with them at full strength. He has Kyrie and Kevin at his disposal and has still lost to the NBA’s top teams and a few teams they probably didn’t expect to lose to, including my Detroit Pistons. Yeah, had to toss that in! LeBron just needs to either leave Cleveland again or try to get Kyrie AND Kevin shipped out of town and somehow turn that into Kevin Durant or Carmelo Anthony and a true point guard (Mike Conley anyone?) and either more minutes for Mozgov or a more serviceable big man that they’ll actually feed. I’m also not sold on Coach Lue either.

Surprisingly since they’ve acquired Joe Johnson, who I’m also not high on, they’ve been on a roll. Without Chris Bosh! They’ve been showing a different dynamic and they’ve also been able to space the floor a bit more. Dwayne Wade has been playing surprisingly good, so good that all his naysayers should be wondering if he’ll ever truly fall from being efficient and consistent. Dragic is finally coming around and being more productive and they look like they may even be able to beat the Cavs in a 7 game series now. Look for the Heat to rise before the playoffs begin and put themselves in position to compete for a championship with the likes of the Raptors and Celtics too! Never thought you’d hear that, huh?

I’ll be short about the Clippers… They need Blake Griffin for the playoffs but they’ve looked like a TEAM without him. It’s hard to figure how that makes sense but it simply does. There’s only so much Paul Pierce is going to give you, DeAndre Jordan, Jamal Crawford, and JJ Redick. Their lone star currently on the floor is Chris Paul and we’ve seen what he can do with someone he can throw alley-oops to and with a few good men around him. He needs another star with him to elevate higher and he’s due to make it to an NBA Finals. Anything less for him is honestly a bust. I’d consider trading Blake during the offseason if they lose in the first round.

The Thunder haven’t been so intimidating as of late. They’ve lost two games they should’ve won against the Clippers & Warriors. They’ve also allowed this situation to affect them mentally in my opinion. They look as if they need to retool their bench if they can get Kevin Durant to stay. I don’t really see where he would want to go. This would be his best opportunity to win a championship. He’s definitely overdue for another finals appearance. Russell Westbrook is playing like an athletic Chris Paul this season and I don’t see him bolting OKC either. It’s too much structure in place where they already are to actually leave and think they have a better chance. Unless they go east.

As far as I’m concerned, this is the Warriors championship to lose unless the Spurs can clone Kawhi Leonard.