I could wile away the hours
Conferrin' with the flowers
Consultin' with the rain
And my head I'd be scratchin'
While my thoughts were busy hatchin'
If I only had a brain
You know what sucks? What sucks is when you as a team are threatening to turn a corner, maybe even save your season...and your own coach comes along and slams the door in your face. What a debacle.
We'll need an apprpriate theme here. Maybe famous player revolts against coaches. I got the team's back on this one if they throw Smart out on his *** in front of the building.
Stats: 30min 2pts (2-5, 0-2, 0-0) 5reb 2ast 0stl 0blk 1TO
Salmons ( C ) -- nowhere near as good a game as last time out, nor even his first game as a starter when he did little more than stay out of the way. And I think part of it may have been that he had TOO much success last time. He's not a natural roleplayer. He has success one game, then in a game like this he's going to want to come in and be a little more offensively aggressive, because that's what he's always done. It wasn't hugely disruptive, but you felt the shot strain, in particular in regards to Cousins, in the early going. John wanted to bring the ball down, dribble aorund a bit and look for his shot this time, rather than making quick decisions with it. Missed his threes as well. Problems were compounded when the old problem from last year reemerged here, with John simply being too small to consistently contend with a tall SF like Marvin Williams. He started swinging the ball better as the game went along, and not play awfully, but when your starting roleplayer gets outscored 20-4 by their starting roleplayer, that's not a great showing.
Magic KOs Westhead -- in 1979 Paul Westhead abruptly took ove the Lakers when Lakers head coach Jack McKinney suffered a near fatal bike crash. Westhead went ont o coach the lakers to a title that first seson, capped by rookie Magic Johnson's legendary Game 7 performance filling in at center. But it didn't take long for that bloom to fade, as the team quickly soured on his walk it up halfcourt approach, lost their chemistry and appeared to quit on their coach as they got bounced in the first round the following season. One of his players (Spencer Haywood) actually contacted a hit man about murdering him. True story. When Magic Johnson dropped a trade demand after the season was over, that was all she wrote for Westhead, who went on to preach basketball abomination in infamousy wacky run 'n gun systems, as if to make up for boring himself out of the ultimate coaching job in L.A.
Stats: 33min 11pts (5-9, 0-0, 1-1) 3reb 0ast 0stl 0blk 1TO
Thompson ( C+ ) -- Got off to the strong start hitting a jumper, and getting a nice post finish +1, but it began to fade after a while. Began to miss numerous open setups from Reke and Cousins, and while Milsap did not work him over, Jason failed at one of the primary duties of a big man, grabbing only 3 rebounds in 33 minutes as the Jazz, Derrick Favors in particular, pummled us badly on the glass, securing opportunity after opportunity. Jason played efficicently on offense, but was effectively invisible after the early going.
Sprewell Chokes the Coach -- PJ Carlesimo was a coach who came up from the college ranks at Seton Hall used to yelling and screaming at little boys who would be buffaloed by the tactic into performing as he wished. He carried that philosophy into the pros, quikcly losingthe attention of multiple teams of full grown men who tired of being treated like infants. Finally he had the misfortune to coach a player a little less than stable in 1997, and the result was one of the most notorious events in the history of NBA player/coach feuds, as Latrell Sprewell eschewed the middle man/hit man approach, and when PJ got in his face one practice about his passing, just lashed out and tried to choke his coach to death. He was finally pulled off after 15 seconds, only to storm back onto the court and pop PJ in the face before being chased off again. The suspension, as you might imagine, was lengthy. But Spree's, er, "discontent" was merely a reflection of the esteem the rest of the team held the coach in, and so Carlesimo himself was soon let go as well.
Stats: 33min 14pts (5-11, 0-0, 4-6) 7reb 4ast 0stl 2blk 4TO
Cousins ( C- ) -- curiously passive game that started off looking like he was being smart and showing patience, then began to look like he was depressed at being uninvolved as his effort waned. In fact I found myself calling for him to get shots here and there just to keep him involved mentally. Avoided early foul trouble and by just staying long and using his body actually played pretty good defense on Big Al in the early going. Was largely forgotten about on offense however as Reke and Brooks both went off, and Cuz was mostly just a decoy. May have been part of the game plan, and Cuz may have known this coming in. Was almost looking to pass more than shoot in the early going, aside from one brilliant take at the end of the first quarter. But when he returned immediately forced a drive and turned it over, and began to notch up bad pass attempts that had little attempt and check out mentally. Wasn't even on the glass. It was as if, denied a chance to dominate offensively,+ all the joy of the game had been drained out for Cuz, and he was starting to slouch around just waiting for it to be over. You know that guy on the pickup courts. maybe not enoghg shots? Things turned a bit int he third, as hhe had his best quarter and we did our best job of keeping him involved. He still wasn''t the focus, but every couple of minuteswe got him an opportunity, including a strong screen roll with Reke out of amid quarter timeout. Closed the quarter with a muscle move through traffic to get to the line, and things were looking up if only we could have had the coach arrested and dragged out of the building before the 4th began. before the coach ate our win. Sat out a long stretch of the 4th, of course, and when he returned things had changed somewhat. Smart was busy screwing up an easy win, the Brooks/Evans backcourt which had 36 points through 3/4 was being iced over on the bench apparently in payment for of a gambling debt owed by the coach, and so now it was Boogie's turn to be The Man. Except he was The Fugly instead. He hadn't had a good game, was coming in cold with a mishmash lineup we hadn't run all game , and suddenly we just started throwing it to him in the post. And hey, I LOVE post play. But circumstances there weren't promising, and sure enough at best we got scruffy production out of very predictably coming down and throwing it to Cousins in the post play after play. A foul, several forced misses, a turnover, and frustration fouls by Cousins after the failure,s giving the Jazz points the other way. Worse, after getting done icing Reke/Brooks on the bench, the inefficient hammering made sure there was no rhythm to our offense for the final minues when they did get back in. Anyway, we had a very mediocre Cuz out there this time. Maybe partly by design early, but the coaches have to know he needs to stay involved to stay involved. Nothing the matter with 14pts 7reb 4ast -- its basically Marc Gasol's season averages. But Cuz is better than that, and this was a non-impact low effort game, with struggles down the stretch.
The french NT implodes spectacularly -- so how about a team imploding on the world's biggest sporting stage? Its the 2010 World Cup, traditional power France is having a very disappointing campign, you've got unrealistic expectations, big egos, lots of pressure. So in the middle of a loss, Coach Raymond Domenech snaps at forward Nicolas Anelka, who fires back with a profanity laced tirade. Within 24 hours Anelka is kicked off the team, the rest of the team is staging a sit in on the team bus refusing to practice, officials all the way up the French soccer federation totem poll are being called out in the press and resigning, and not surprisingly France is swept out of the tournament.