Tag Archives: Dallas Mavericks

Dirk Nowitzki remaining with Mavericks as expected

DirkDirk Nowitzki was never a free agent in the traditional sense. The Mavericks’ future Hall of Famer stated time and again that he had every intention of resigning with the only team he has played for. Now, it appears there is an agreement in place that will keep Nowitzki in Dallas.

ESPN’s Marc Stein reported on Thursday afternoon that the Mavericks and Nowitzki verbally came to terms on a three-year deal worth approximately $30 million. The third year of the deal is reported to be a player option meaning that Nowitzki could return to free agency in the summer of 2016. Dirk will also retain his no-trade clause.

It was reported that Nowitzki would hold off on inking any deal with Dallas until the team sat down with Carmelo Anthony. Anthony was in Dallas on Wednesday and met with representatives of the team at Mark Cuban’s house after dinner at Nick and Sam’s in Uptown.

With the meeting over, the Mavericks wrapped up negotiations with Nowitzki. As expected, he took a considerable discount so that the team would have financial flexibility to pursue other free agents this summer.

Anthony has been Dallas’ main free agent target since he opted out of his contract with the New York Knicks. The Mavericks are also rumored to be interested in Houston’s Chandler Parsons, Cleveland’s Luol Deng, and a bevy of other players. Dallas must also decide which of their own free agents to re-sign.

Even though he wasn’t going anywhere, Nowitzki was the most important player to sign this summer. His cap hold on the team hovered around $26 million. It had to come off the books to free up money to improve the roster.

With the rest of the summer shrouded in uncertainty, the Mavericks and their fans can continue to rely on Dirk. And why shouldn’t they? He has yet to disappoint.

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A Conversation about the Western Conference Playoffs

Maybe next year, Ricky

Doyle Rader and Travis Huse discuss the basketball world, namely the Western Conference playoff picture (We can’t think of a creative name for these segments. Help us out.):

DR: I wrote briefly on the race to get into the playoffs and how cluttered it is yesterday with the knowledge that it wouldn’t be relevant today. It isn’t. In fact, it was smashed to pieces (not really). Right now, though, the West is stacked up from the sixth through tenth seeds and there will be a lot of position jockeying over the next week and a half to see who will actually make it into the postseason. Even the third through fifth seeds aren’t set in stone and the Spurs could win the Western Conference outright. It’s cray, essentially. Tonight the Rockets and Nuggets face off once again as both teams fight to keep their playoff chances alive. Last night Denver came out in the second half and ran rough shot all over Houston, getting out in transition for easy buckets. Corey Brewer, Arron Afflalo, and Ty Lawson were seemingly everywhere. It was an impressive win. If they can do it again tonight, Houston’s chances at making the playoffs will certainly begin to dwindle. How do you feel the West could pan out?

TH: I actually envision the conference standing pat from here until the playoffs, unless a team tanks for better positioning, like the Grizzlies did last year.  The Jazz have been playing fantastically as of late, but they’re still a game and a half behind Houston, and frankly, there’s no way that the Suns manage to squeeze in.  If there is any movement at all, I feel it’ll be upward movement from either the Mavs or the Spurs.  Dallas has been playing much better since the departure of Lamar Odom, which goes to show exactly how poisonous he was to that locker room; in fact, it seems as if the team has been brought together by kicking him out.  So there’s a distinct possibility they can overtake Memphis, in my mind.

In a typical year, San Antonio would be heavily resting their stars, so a few losses this week and next wouldn’t be surprising.  But with the increased workload Tiago Splitter‘s been able to handle, as well as the addition of Boris Diaw, Tim Duncan‘s been kept to 28.4 minutes a game.  Talk about cray.  Gregg Popovich is now in a situation where he might actually increase the minutes for Duncan and Manu Ginobili, to prepare for their roles in the playoffs.  For entertainment’s sake, I really, really, REALLY hope the postseason matchups stay as they are, though.  Clips-Grizz would be one of the most exciting, physical series of all time.  Blake Griffin can dunk over anyone, but if anyone can contain them, the Memphis bigs could.  Posters galore.  Lakers-Mavs would be a wonderful rematch of last year’s stomping, but a Bynum-Haywood matchup could be problematic for Dallas.  Spurs-Nuggets could be a highlight of the importance of depth, with each team being able to run 3 full squads at an opponent.  The 7-game format would be a dream for those interested in NBA coaching tactics, and George Karl against Pop is as close to the best as we can get in the first round.  The 8th seed is going to get reamed, though.  No question.

DR: Yeah, the fate of whoever lands in 8th has had their fate sealed. I hope Utah can sneak in there, though. The Jazz won their last meeting with the Thunder so that gives me the slightest bit of hope that if they make it to the playoffs they won’t be swept. Tyrone Corbin has done a fantastic job with Utah and should be rewarded with a playoff berth.

As for Memphis, doom and gloom is in the air as they head into the postseason. Marc Gasol hyper extended his left knee on Sunday and the entire city of Memphis is holding its collective breath. He will have an MRI today to determine the severity of the injury. For the sake of Memphis, who I see as a “dark horse” (what a cliché term) in the playoffs, I hope he is going to be able to come back quickly.

TH: Derrick Favors! I still love that kid, but he needs a role with a different team, or they need to get a guard out of one of their bigs.  The Jazz will rocket right back into the playoffs in the next season or two, their front office is too smart.  Which team missing out on the playoffs this season do you think will make it next year?

DR: I honestly feel like it’s the Blazers. They have been a steady playoff team over recent years but they blew it up this year. They are rebuilding and if they can get one or two solid players around LaMarcus Aldridge I don’t see any reason why they should miss out on the playoff party next season.

Also, the Timberwolves are right there. When Ricky Rubio went down you could hear that team’s balloon burst. Everything changed. Their defense collapsed, their offense grew stale. Nothing was working right for them except for Kevin Love. He’s the man. If the NBA had an NIT, these two teams would be a lock for it.

TH: See, I’ve got two possibilities, and they hinge on one signing.  If Steve Nash stays in Phoenix, it will signify some roster moves to improve the team.  Therefore, they’ll be able to make the playoffs.  If they don’t, Nash is gone and they’ll be looking at a major rebuilding.  Which, to be fairly honest, might be the best thing long term for the Suns.  In this very-likely scenario, I like the idea of the Timberwolves next year.  That roster is filled to the brim with underrated talent, and Rick Adelman’s already done wonders.  It’s the funniest goddamned thing that David Kahn actually set up a pretty complete basketball team.  Imagine if we’d told ourselves in 2009 (or 2010, or 2011) that it could all fit together.

DR: Well, the Wolves still have their issues. Michael Beasley still has yet to find a defined role on the team and it looks as though he isn’t even going to get a qualifying offer from Minnesota, so he will be playing elsewhere next season, and Adelman just doesn’t seem to like Darko Milicic. What will be interesting to see is how much Nikola Pekovic can improve his game during the offseason and whether Martell Webster will get a haircut. Above all else, they need to stay healthy. Rubio, Love, Barea, Beasley, Luke Ridnour, Darko, and Pekovic all missed serious time this season. No matter how well the team is playing at any given point, injuries are a team’s death knell.

Maybe David Kahn is craftier than we all thought, or maybe he just got lucky. I’m going with the latter.

As for the Suns, BLOW IT UP.

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Mahinmi Swag

This video (and post accompanying it) was brought to my attention several days ago by Twitter follower @KirkSeriousFace. Due to work and general laziness I did not have the time to check it out as soon as I had wanted to. However, I have now and it is some true Ian Mahinmi swag.

If you follow the Beef on Twitter you are probably aware of my many failed attempts to get #MahinmiSwag trending. I cannot help but love the young French center for his general style (President Obama called him the most GQ player on the team) and casual take on life. Oh, and that yell he does before games is pretty alright in a goofy way. He is also a pretty good player in my opinion splitting time at center as the Dallas Mavericks roll out a platoon rotation at that position. But obviously this video is more important than most things in life right now…because there are five Mahinmi’s in it at one point. How awesome is that? This is Mahinmi. This is #MahinmiSwag!

Join me in the Mahinmi revolution.

Hat tip to Dan Devine at Ball Don’t Lie for the orignal post.

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Lamar Odom is Being a Little Baby Bitch and Everyone Knows it.

This will always be just too damn funny.

If you live in the Dallas area or are a fan of the Mavericks, you’ve probably heard that Lamar Odom has been having a rough season emotionally.  He was traded from the Lakers, a team he loved.  He’s been performing close to half as effectively as he did last season (14.4 ppg to 7.7, 8.7 rpg to 4.5, and his fg% is 35.7%.  Seriously).  He’s a versatile player, seems to be a nice guy, we all felt a little bad for him.  No one likes to feel unwanted.

So when I heard that he’d be missing the game against the Lakers last Wednesday because his father had a serious illness, I didn’t think anything of it.  Those things happen, personal matters do not revere the NBA schedule as much as we fans do.  Let the guy take care of his dad, it’s one regular season game, and that’s that.  He’ll get back to the team as soon as he can (he also had a 5 day break due to the All-Star Game).

It’s that kind of understanding that makes you feel duped in the end.

As I drove home from work Friday afternoon, feeling energetic and excited, I put on 97.9 The Beat and instead of sweet, sweet jams, I was serenaded by a quote from Lamar Odom’s father.  A quote where he says he had a “stomach virus” and had been alright for a while.  At first, it was almost laughable, the DJ poking fun at how Lamar couldn’t deal with playing against the Lakers.  He was painted as someone who ran into his ex-girlfriend in a social situation and it broke him.

Last night, rumors started flying that Odom is desiring a buyout of his contract, presumably so that he can go back to the Lakers.  My first thought was, “Let him go!  He hasn’t been productive for the Mavs all season, and there hasn’t been much inclination that he will.”  But the more I sat and mulled it over, there is absolutely no way the Mavericks organization could do that and save face.  Instead of the probable truth, which is that Lamar likes the Hollywood aspect of playing in Los Angeles, it would appear as if the Mavericks organization is flawed.

This is a very unfair situation to place Donnie Nelson and Mark Cuban, let alone the rest of the players on his team.  To be very honest, it doesn’t feel fair to the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex.

Lamar, let me break it down for you:

During your toughest struggles, this city supported you.  Meanwhile, your beloved Lakers organization has forgotten you.  They have their eyes set on Dwight Howard, even if it’s not a feasible goal.  They are cutthroat in regards to moves, and always have been.  Do you really think that if you had stayed, you would be better off?  You wouldn’t.  Right now, you’re playing for the NBA Champions, the team that swept you out of the playoffs last year.  If you were a Laker right now, you would be another piece of big man trade bait like Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol.  At best, you would have sweetened a package proposed to Orlando and you would be playing there, while Kobe Bryant and Dwight team up, once again, forgetting you.  They traded you for pennies.  PENNIES.  They are more interested in signing a retired, 37 year-old Rasheed Wallace (a former Celtic, if that says anything) than getting you back.  It’s over.

I’m sure it’s tough being married to a transsexual, and I’m uncertain of logistics in such a relationship.  But what LA plastic surgeon hack took your balls, my man?

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What’s in a Game?

Even with less games, one game means much less in a lockout-shortened season.

I spent some time today with Doyle running over last night’s Mavericks-Thunder game, both teams’ chances in the West, and the strenuous (or is it?) relationship between the Thunder’s stars.

TH: Last night, the Oklahoma City Thunder managed to dismantle the reigning champion Dallas Mavericks.  The loss, though, is not too surprising, as the Mavs were without Lamar Odom and Brendan Haywood, and Jason Kidd is still out with his calf injury.  Dirk Nowitzki had a spectacularly awful game (2-for-15 shooting) and Rick Carlisle was thrown out of the game after punting a ball into a boy’s face.  How do you, Doyle, feel as a Mavs fan about this loss?

DR: I don’t think that the term “dismantle” is appropriate in this instance. This was a game that the Thunder should have won since they have been deemed the Golden Child of the Western Conference. You mentioned the absences on the Mavericks’ roster last night so this should have been a cake walk for OKC, but it wasn’t. This was a competitive game with the Mavericks finding ways to either lead or stay in contention until the final minute of the game. If Nowitzki did not shoot so poorly, clearly his knee is still bothering him, and if the Mavs had some shots fall late, the outcome of this game could have been different.

TH: The one worrying thing for the Mavs is this:  Nowitzki’s had a few bad games, is this all because of the knee or could there be a mental problem that’s causing his trouble?  He’s been complacent often this season, and watching the game against the Spurs (his first game back, I know), Dirk doesn’t seem as fearless as we’ve come to expect.

DR: I’m not as concerned with Nowitzki as I’m sure many are. It would be easy to blame his issues on the lockout but that is a cop-out that is used all too often in this shortened season. We are about a fourth to a third of the way through the season so I expect Dirk to miss more time this year for rest and conditioning. This is true for almost every player who will be injured this season. I also do not think that his recent struggles are mental either. Against the Thunder he stepped into several bold shots in the fourth quarter. Those shots simply did not fall. He’ll be fine as the season progresses and despite being the face of the franchise, the Mavericks have other players who can step up and fill the void when they are called on.

Dallas has the highest scoring bench in the league and also has one of the deepest. The likes of Jason Terry, Odom (when not dealing with a stomach bug), Vince Carter, Delonte West, Rodrigue Beaubois, Ian Mahinmi, and Brandan Wright have all shown that they are more than capable of contributing to the team when called upon. Sure, Dirk being in a funk is disappointing but it is not catastrophic for the team.

TH: Agreed, and playoff seeding is going to be strange this season.  We’ve already seen how younger teams are capitalizing on bigger minutes for their stars, teams like the 76ers, Clippers, and Thunder.  If they manage to keep their high playoff seeds, it will be interesting to see how the older, more experienced teams like the Mavs, Spurs and Lakers re-allocate minutes. Last lockout, an 8th seed made it to the Finals.

But defense wins championships, and that is what ultimately gave the Thunder an edge over the Mavericks.  Without Kidd, the Mavs have to rely on a combo of Roddy B. and West, and there are simply too many contending teams with point guards who will take that matchup to task.  Western teams like OKC and the Clips would fare differently against Kidd’s perimeter defense and smart hands.  Here are a couple questions for you: Do the Thunder deserve their current record?  How do you envision the rest of their season?

DR: I’m not certain that having either Beaubois or West on the court is a bad thing against some of the elite point guards in the league. Both are younger and quicker than Kidd is and therefore have to capability of keeping pace, or at least better than Kidd, with the likes of Russell Westbrook and others. Also, both Beaubois and West bring a different set of skills to bear when on the court. West is a tenacious defender who likes to come off the bench and play alongside Terry thereby alleviating West’s need to score as much even though he is an able scorer. He is on the floor to hairy the opposing point. Where Roddy excels is by pressuring his defender on the offensive side of the floor. Much like Westbrook, Beaubois has an innate ability to penetrate the lane, though he does so with less bombast. Kidd is still a handful with his passing, court vision, and IQ but he has lost a step and the Westbrooks of the league will exploit that. Having West and Beaubois helps the Mavericks be a flexible and more difficult team to matchup with.

As for the Thunder, of course they deserve the record they have, they have won 17 games thus far and you cannot take that away from them. Bill Parcells that is famous for saying “you are what your record says you are,” and for the Thunder that means they have the best record in the West. However, that is not to say that the Thunder are perfect. In fact they are far from it. They are an extremely talented team, let me put that out there first, but they are also extremely inexperienced. On the break, OKC is one of the most dangerous teams in the league, perhaps second or third to only the Heat and Clippers, because they are fast and have the ability to finish at the rim. Westbrook is the spearhead and plays like a charging bull, lowering his head and relentlessly moving forward despite obstacles. Add the scoring threats of Kevin Durant and James Harden and you have the third most potent offense in the league. It is that offense, though, that gets the Thunder in trouble.

On the break, everything works well. However, in the halfcourt the Thunder often look lost and their offense stagnates. Frequently, Thunder players stand and watch the ball handler try to create for themselves in an isolation situation. Yes, the Thunder’s big three are great individual scorers but a Joe Johnson-esque ISO bogs down the entire offense and instills a heavy reliance on long jumpers or contested drives. With the skills that these players possess it is shocking that the Thunder are not more creative offensively, Scott Brooks, in my opinion, deserves a lot of blame for this.

When the Thunder offense is mobile in the halfcourt they create boundless mismatches but these go ignored far too regularly. In the game against the Mavericks there was a possession where Harden had the ball and was determined to take the shot, with Shawn Marion guarding him I believe, while on a switch Terry was defending Durant. Harden did not make use of the obvious advantage his team had in that situation and wound up missing the shot he took. Why Brooks is not irate or frustrated that this scenario repeats itself seemingly every game is anyone’s guess. The Thunder have a lot of growing to do if they are actually going to grow into the team everyone thinks they are. Until that happens they should be looked on as a new version of D’Antoni’s Suns. A good team that won’t make the Finals.

TH: I’m not so sure they won’t make the Finals, with the Western Conference being weaker than it has been in years.  The Chris Paul trade fiasco essentially knocked the Lakers from contention, alienating Pau Gasol and losing Odom to the Mavs for peanuts.  Dallas lost enough players over the summer that this year almost seems like a mini-Mark Cuban rebuilding effort, and San Antonio appears limited in roster movement until Tim Duncan decides to retire.  When was the last time any of these teams appeared so fragile?  Already headed this way, the lockout and compressed season has hit older teams harder than anyone would have expected.

After last year’s Conference Finals appearance, the Thunder have the experience and resilience to make it, but it hinges upon favorable seeding matchups and Westbrook’s shot selection.  Durant has shown more leadership this season, but it might take an MVP trophy for the rest of the team to realize that he’s the clear #1; also, an increased role for James Harden could produce stagnation, as he loves watching the ball leave his hand.  You’re absolutely right that the blame falls on Scott Brooks.  He needs to explain to his team, in clear terms, that Kevin Durant is the best basketball player on the Thunder.

Durant’s been strikingly supportive of his teammates, and I love it.  Superstars in the league now tend to throw their team or their coaching staff under a bus if it suits their personal aspirations, while Durant’s shown a commitment to the city, its team, and management.  But maybe they’d be a more cohesive team on the court if he were to drop the humility a tad, and stepped up and took sole ownership of the team.

DR: I’m not certain that Durant becoming more of a focal point for the offense to flow through is necessarily the right course of action. That could elicit a #MeloSystem style of offense. I would like to see Scott Brooks shoot an email to Sebastian Pruiti and request some suggestions for plays in the halfcourt. They could be much more fluid if he did.

You are right though, the West is wide open and the Thunder need to exploit it, but they need to first battle through the surprisingly tough Northwest Division. If the playoffs began today they would have to face the Trail Blazers in the first round. That is far from a desirable match…but nothing in the West will be ideal this year.

Yes, the Thunder are a good team but their mediocre defense and lack of ball movement could be their eventual undoing. Until that time they need to enjoy the ride. Oh, and…something, something, Westbrook and Durant hate each other, something. There, I think I just covered the main issue that we have been dodging.

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The Dallas Mavericks visit the White House

The NBA champion Dallas Mavericks finally had their opportunity to visit the White House and meet President Barack Obama. Initially, the league did not schedule a trip for the Mavericks to visit the White House as the team was not scheduled to play the Washington Wizards in D.C. due to the shortened season. Mark Cuban would have none of that and arranged the visit.

Honestly, I cannot be unbiased about this moment, nor can I write about it in an even-handed fashion. This moment simply made me happy and proud. I have been a Mavericks fan since I discovered what basketball is and seeing the team standing behind the President is wonderful.

President Obama makes plenty of cracks about the Mavericks’ age, Jason Terry‘s Larry O’Brien Trophy tattoo, and Dirk Nowitzki‘s talent for singing. One of the best moments is when the President displays a bit of homerism saying that it will be the Chicago Bulls who he meets next year. Everyone involved was clearly having a good time.

On a side note, Ian Mahinmi got swag. Check out his plaid print shirt, bow tie, Black rim glasses, and black cardigan. Baron Davis and James Harden have been put on notice. Mahinmi’s hipster status is untouchable.

Video via PBT

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NBA Christmas Wrap

Merry Christmas

With much fanfare and an obnoxious LMFAO ad that was played almost every commercial intermission, the NBA season kicked off in superb, albeit rusty, fashion. Yes, lockout legs could be seen throughout the five games that were aired but that is to be expected with abbreviated training camps. chemistry was also an issue as many teams have a number of new players to integrate into their rotations. Nonetheless, the NBA is back and fans and players are happy. A reaction:

Boston Celtics 104 – New York Knicks 106

Carmelo Anthony looked great in this game. His 17 points in the fourth quarter were the difference and why the Knicks thought it necessary to gut their team to acquire him. Throughout his time in the NBA, Anthony has proven he has a knack for performing in the clutch and he showed it on Sunday. However, the already shaky depth of the Knicks has grown even more unstable with a knee injury to rookie Iman Shumpert which will sideline him for at least a couple of weeks.

As for the Celtics, Rajon Rondo and Brandon Bass, who is finally free from the tyranny of Stan Van Gundy, were the offense with Paul Pierce missing the game. Rondo continually broke down New York’s defense and got to the rim. When Pierce comes back to the lineup the Celtics should be a more rounded offensive unit, until then this will be Rondo’s team.

Naughty: Kevin Garnett choking Bill Walker.

Nice: Carmelo Anthony’s clutch play.

Miami Heat 105 – Dallas Mavericks 94

The Mavericks raised their championship banner but that is all they had to celebrate on Sunday. Dallas came out looking flat and out of sync, in essence, they looked old. That should be no surprise because their entire core is over the age of 30. Rick Carlisle is integrating Vince Carter, Lamar Odom, Delonte West, who played well, and Brandan Wright into the rotation while dealing with key losses across the board. Jason Terry was the only Maverick who showed up to this one.

Miami looked like they were just rolled off of a German assembly line. They were well oiled and fine tuned. What they did to the Mavericks was scary. Say what you will about all the exhibition games this summer but they seem to have kept LeBron James and Dwyane Wade in game shape, that and their complete desire to destroy everything in their path. This was a blowout, like a brand new Mercedes-Benz S-Class versus a Trabant. Not only were the Heat good but they will get better. Rookie Norris Cole turned some heads with his play in 24 minutes of action. If he continues to improve he could supplant Mario Chalmers as the starting point guard.

Naughty: The Mavs’ 37.8 percent field goal shooting.

Nice: LeBron James‘ box score: 37 points, 10 rebounds, six assists.

Chicago Bulls 88 – Los Angeles Lakers 87

Forget Showtime, these are the Slowtime Lakers. That is not a knock on them, however, not in the least bit. This Lakers squad proved to be as scrappy and gritty as any I have seen. Perhaps this is what Mike Brown brings to the team, perhaps this is what a bunch of blue-collar white guys bring to a team, or perhaps this is just what happens when you lose Odom and Andrew Bynum serving his suspension. Nonetheless, I like the Slowtime Lakers. Where they do need to improve is offensive player rotation. Too many times they reverted to Hawks-esque isolation with three players around the perimeter and one near the post.

Chicago played well throughout, with the exception being the third quarter. With the game close, Luol Deng stepped up and made the big plays. It was his defense against Kobe Bryant and his steal late in the game that allowed the Bulls to go on a 7-0 run, capped by Derrick Rose‘s floater in the lane, to win the game. Rip Hamilton started for the Bulls but did not contribute much due to foul trouble therefore his time was split with Ronnie Brewer. Brewer is a solid defender with good court vision and should see more minutes this season.

Naughty: Kobe’s last shot attempt.

Nice: Rose’s floater to win the game.

Orlando Magic 89 – Oklahoma City Thunder 97

Much like the Heat Mavericks game, the final score does not do justice to the thrashing that actually occurred. Like Miami, the Thunder look ready for the season. Very ready.  Oklahoma City pounced on Orlando early and never relented. Their team is largely the same as it was last year so their learning curve is near zero when it comes to knowing each other and how to execute plays…when they are not freewheeling. Speed and athleticism are the monikers of this team and they will serve them well out of the gate. If only they could improve their shot selections *cough* Westbrook *cough*.

Where the Thunder took plenty of questionable shots when they had built their sizable lead, the Magic took even more haphazard shots throughout the entire game. I have said it many times: the Magic’s offense is terrible. There is nothing more that can be said. It looked like they thought that there was a pit of lava inside the three-point line. Get Dwight Howard the ball in the post and let him work.

Naughty: Hedo Turkoglu clearly indulged his gluttonous side during the lockout. Dude is chunky.

Nice: Kevin Durant. Need I say more?

Los Angeles Clippers 105 – Golden State Warriors 86

If ESPN had their way, this would have been a documentary about Mark Jackson and the greatness of his coaching style. Nevermind the fact Chris Paul and Blake Griffin were on the court, this broadcast was about Mark Jackson, hands down (man down). They showed a clip of him quoting Shakespeare before the game. He was the only coach shown in the huddle, mostly saying cliché motivational shit like “execution” and “focus.” That is all fine and good, but he does have a decent team that the broadcast could have talked about. I think Jackson will be a good coach but that much attention is unwarranted, especially on a nationally televised game. His first coaching milestone was the hack-a-Jordan technique he used on DeAndre Jordan.

The final score is not indicative of how the Warriors remained close for much of the game. Clearly, the Wizards of Lob are the better team but last night they showed chinks in their armor. The aforementioned hack-a-Jordan technique stymied the Clippers offense and brought it to a halt. Luckily, the Clippers have Paul, Chauncey Billups, and Griffin. All played well as they were able to outlast the Warrior. The new look Clippers are a work in progress to say the least and last night they showed it.

Naughty: ESPN’s love affair with Mark “Momma, there goes that man” Jackson.

Nice: Caron Butler‘s circus shot.

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