May, 5, 2010
By Henry Abbott
- Bret Lagree of Hoopinion: "Mike Woodson removed Al Horford, fresh off a dominating Game 7 performance against the Bucks and arguably Atlanta's best player for the entirety of the first-round series, just 5:44 into the game because ... he had one foul? Sort of. Woodson was saving Horford to play against Marcin Gortat when Gortat replaced Howard on the court and Horford, presumably, couldn't do that if he picked up a second foul. Somewhat predictably, Stan Van Gundy countered this strategic innovation by leaving his best player in the game against, first, Atlanta's third-string center, then the backup center. Woodson eventually realized that Howard wasn't headed to the bench anytime soon and put Horford back in with 8:55 left in the second quarter. That's nine minutes and 41 seconds of the first 15 minutes and five seconds of the game that Al Horford spent on the bench as his coach, in an effort to create a future mismatch that didn't materialize until Orlando had a 16-point lead, gifted his opponent's best player a mismatch in the present. It was surely the nadir of The Horford Treatment and, perhaps, a miscalculation so severe as to kill off the misguided attempt at maintaining control for good."
- I guess it's always news when Gabrielle Union is connected to the NBA. This time, she joins Dwyane Wade in being sued by Wade's ex-wife and children. The specifics of the allegations are fairly salacious, but I'm not going to repeat them here because at this early stage of the legal process who knows what's real.
- Eddy Rivera of Magic Basketball: "Orlando executed beautifully on offense. In the second and third quarters when the Magic opened up the floodgates against the Hawks, Howard was at the epicenter of the surge. Howard was involved in a number of 4-out/1-in offensive sets and 1/5 pick and rolls with Nelson. As a result, Howard was able to systematically break down Atlanta by passing and scoring with the basketball. In essence, Howard was being the playmaker that he didn’t get a chance to be when he played against the Charlotte Bobcats in the first round of the playoffs. Whether it was overpowering his defender on the low block or kicking the ball out to the perimeter, where Orlando’s shooters were able to cause a lot of damage, Howard was making plays left and right."
- Great Rajon Rondo pass.
- Turns out the Lakers totally can "turn it on" even if they are a little banged up. An analysis of how it is the Jazz get so many shots blocked.
- All those teams with coaching vacancies ... Jeff Van Gundy says you should consider Tom Thibodeau.
- Ted Leonsis -- who recently signed a purchase agreement for the Wizards -- talks like a guy with a chance to be a special NBA owner. This is a D.C. Sports Bog transcription of part of an upcoming C-SPAN interview: "I view owning a sports team -- it's a public trust. You have the psychological well-being of millions of people in the palm of your hand. And I think it's no different than being a politician that being a mayor -- I was mayor of my town in Florida for a while, and you feel that you're there to represent a large collection of people and hold the mirror up to them. And that's what I think owning a sports team is all about."
- A quick trigger is an amazing thing in the NBA. But nobody can shoot like this.
- Watch Jack Nicholson curse at referees without sound!
- Rod Benson has long been the funniest guy in the D-League, but is he done with the D-League?
- When Paul Pierce shoots a lot of 3s, he shoots fewer free throws.
- Can Rodney Stuckey lead a good team? And if it's not going to him, whom?
- One Sun knows the Spurs' system particularly well.