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» One Touch Football - Archive » Sport » The Michael Jordan remembrance thread (Page 15)

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Author Topic: The Michael Jordan remembrance thread
Soccer Scrimmage
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Man. In their last three games, Boston has beaten the Spurs in SA, the Rockets in Houston, and the Mavs in Dallas. As good as the Western Conference is, there's no doubt who the favorites will be.
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Soccer Scrimmage
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The Mavs are now 0-8 against teams with winning records since making that stupid trade for Jason Kidd. Plus Nowitzki was injured today, perhaps seriously. Will know tomorrow.
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Mr. Wind-Up Bird
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It's been a depressing week for the Mavs. The inability to compete with the Lakers minus big men, losing to a very beatable Celts team that didn't look that interested for most of the game, and now going down to our biggest rivals while losing our best player.

The Kidd trade has actually revitalised Dirk (and, surprisingly, Eric Dampier) but there is an obvious clash with Avery Johnson's preferred style.

Avery lost the support of quite a few people after the Golden State fiasco but the past few weeks have most fans I know calling for his head. I was tempted to leave at half time of the Lakers game because I was so disgusted with Avery's tactics and substitutions. We can't keep a centre on the floor to pound it down low against Ronnie Turieff? Our worst passer gets to inbound the ball on the last play of the game? Jerry Stackhouse plays the whole game despite stinking the arena out?

Kidd came here brimming with confidence and looking to pass the ball everywhere. Four weeks later, he is tentative and scared - unclear as his coach wants him to shoot first instead of making the rest of the team look better.

The strengths that got an undersized, unrated point guard from a small school to a long NBA career - stubborness, loyalty, drive and an incredible will to win - are his weaknesses as a coach. His inflexibility with regards to his gameplan is killing the Mavs this year. It looks like Avery has lost the team. He's certainly lost me and I hope he's replaced in the summer.

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Soccer Scrimmage
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Jesus. This is the same gameplan that has made him the coach with the best winning percentage in history, right? This is the same gameplan that transformed a can't-win-in-the-playoffs team into one minutes away from a championship, right? This is the same gameplan that resulted in an all-time great regular season last year, right? This is the same gameplan that had the Mavs rolling again in the first half of this year, right?

Obviously, Johnson's preferred style has weaknesses that were exposed by the Warriors last year. But the idea that Johnson should take the fall because someone made a trade that did not fit in with the style of play that has led to the incredible (and unprecedented for such a young coach) success of the last few years is just ludicrous.

[ 24.03.2008, 02:17: Message edited by: Soccer Scrimmage ]

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jason voorhees
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That said, look at Kidd and Byron Scott. Look what happened to the Nets after Kidd ran Scott outta town, and look what Scott's doing in Nawlins.
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Mr. Wind-Up Bird
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SS, I don't know how many Mavs games you watch. There is a visible deflation in this team this year that was obvious prior to the trade. The players look like they have tuned out Avery, and the iso offense style does not play to the strengths of the best player on the team.

You may have thought the team was rolling at the start of this year; we saw a team that couldn't win on the road against bad opposition (never a good sign as it relates to team chemistry). We continually saw a team that stood around watching while the shot clock ran down while one player would jack up a long range jumper. We saw players inexplicably drop in and out of the rotation regardless of what they did on the court.

Look, I like Avery. I wanted him to take over from Don Nelson. I appreciate that he has a great record here (based largely on a great squad, BTW). I want him to succeed. I have seen little this year to make me think that he is going to - here, at least - because I think he has worn this squad down. I'd love for he (and them) to prove me wrong in the playoffs.

Incidentally, for the record, I didn't particularly want the Kidd trade to happen.

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Soccer Scrimmage
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I've just gone and looked at their pre-Kidd schedule, and there were indeed a bunch of bad losses mixed in with a bunch of good wins. But the team was, by my calculation, 35-18 before the trade was made. That's .660 in the Western Conference. I don't know where that put the Mavs in the pecking order, but they were top half for most of the season, if I recall correctly.

Maybe they did start to tune out Johnson. Maybe there's behind the scenes stuff I don't know about. If that's the case, they really don't have much choice. But what I see is a team that was winning 2/3 of its games in the Western conference, and a coach with an incredible track record. If Cuban and the Mavs fans think they can do better than that, good luck to them.

[ 24.03.2008, 14:55: Message edited by: Soccer Scrimmage ]

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Inca
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My brain has been totally occupied with March Madness, and I got to thinking--since there seems to be a big gulf between the divisions, what if the NBA still had 16 teams in the playoffs, but paired them up simply best against worst, with no respect to division or conference. A sort of single-table league with playoffs.

Here would be the current rankings:

1. Boston
2. Detroit
3. New Orleans
4. LA Lakers
5. Phoenix
6. Houston
7. San Antonio
8. Utah
9. Orlando
10. Dallas
11. Golden State
12. Denver
13. Cleveland
14. Portland
15. Washington
16. Toronto

So the East would lose two teams from the playoffs. Here would be the matchups, listed like a bracket (1v16 winner playing 8v9 winner, etc):

(1)Boston v. (16)Toronto
(8)Utah v. (9)Orlando

(5)Phoenix v. (12)Denver
(4)LA Lakers v. (13)Cleveland

(6)Houston v. (11)Golden State
(3)New Orleans v. (14)Portland

(7)San Antonio v. (10)Dallas
(2)Detroit v. (15)Washington

Surprised there were only 2 out-of-conference first round matchups. The NBA would not be happy with Kobe v. LeBron in the first round, and they really wouldn't be happy with a possible Celtics v. Lakers in the semifinals. There would likely be a Spurs v. Pistons, but it would be over with in the round of 8.

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ursus arctos
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Speaking of the purple and gold, those "Noche Latina" jerseys didn't work out to well against the Warriors, did they?

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Soccer Scrimmage
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More like "Loss" Lakers. ha ahahahshahah

Edit: and Inca, that idea has been very strongly rejected by Stern. It would basically make the conference system (with teams playing their conference opponents more than their non-conference opponents) meaningless, which he doesn't want to happen.

[ 24.03.2008, 15:30: Message edited by: Soccer Scrimmage ]

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Inca
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I figured he would--didn't know it had been proposed before.

I don't know why the Warriors weren't wearing the patronizing Noche Latina jerseys (you Latinos will like this--there's a "Los" in front of the team name now!). When the Spurs and the Suns played, they were both wearing them.

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ursus arctos
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The Warriors don't need no steenkin' determinative articles.

It does seem to be an incredibly patronizing "initiative".

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Inca
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I really need to get the picture someone took of me and Baron Davis at my wife's high school reunion. He's a cool guy.
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jason voorhees
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"There isn't much talk about the NBA on here, is there? Does no-one here care about it?"

15 pages later...

Those two nights of Warriors-Lakers were awesome. Great stuff.

And it's shocking to see Nawlins in first place, especially after the Shaq trade and Rockets win streak.

And before anyone crowns the Celtics in the East, remember they have to get past the Pistons. Even Bird-McHale-Parish had trouble with that. Especially if Rasheed returns.

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Soccer Scrimmage
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Not to mention Boston lost at home to Philly last night. That's one of the great things about this season: there are like 8 or 9 really, really good teams, but they are all flawed in some way.
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