Thursday, May 31, 2007

Flip Saunders is the worst coach in the history of the NBA

I cannot even express in words how terrible Flip Saunders is. He not only deserves to be fired, but he should never again be allowed to coach in the NBA. Saunders is a worthless degenerate and lacks both common sense and basketball IQ. His atrocious coaching is the sole reason for his team's staggering loss in Game 5 vs the Pistons. Saunders' decisions in the end of the fourth quarter and in overtime will not only cost him the series but ultimately his career.

I will now proceed to tear him apart.

1) His matchups were beyond horrible. First of all, he assigned Billups, who is 6''2, to Lebron (6''9 + 40 inch vertical). Sure, Billups is a great defensive player, arguably even an All-NBA calibur one. But by doing this, Saunders is essentially forfieting the game. Where is Rip Hamilton? Sure he was in foul trouble, but your season is on the line. Contrary to popular belief, Richard Hamilton, not Tayshaun Prince, is the Piston's best defensive player. Regardless of that, neither of them guarded James in the final minutes of the fourth. Instead you had Maxiell, a bulky power forward, and Billups, a undersized point guard, guarding Lebron James. That is why James was able to waltz to the basket, nabbing himself two dunks in the process that sent the game into overtime.

2) How can any team give up two dunks consecutively to the same player in a halfcourt Setting? How moronic and incompetent can you be out there. Why aren't you fouling Lebron James, who is a notoriously bad free throw shooter? Statistically, he would have been assured to miss one. Furthermore, how do you let him waltz to the rim on the final play and get another layup, this time to seal game?

3) No other Cavaliers player was scoring out there. Lebron had scored 22 of the last 23 points for his team, yet Flip sits there idle like a paraplegic cow. Why don' t you get your ass of the bench and send him some hard double-teams? Why not force the ball out of his hands? Why don't you try to see if Pavlovic can make 8 points in a row? Instead Saunders sat there like the low-life that he is, watching not only his team's lead, but also his career, slowly melt away in the abyssal gutter of failure.

4) Why are you telling your players to play Lebron so tight down the stretch? Why? Do you want him to blow by you and dunk? How can anyone who claims to be a coach, be so ignorant, naive and utterly stupid. Why aren't you packing the lane? Why aren't you rushing a secondary defender at Lebron? Why are you refusing to double-team him? There is no possible explanation for travesty.


In short, Saunders has an extreme mental deficiency of fundamental basketball knowledge. Any intelligent basketball analyst could only writhe in pain as they watched his blistering incompetence spread like a cancer to his players. Frankly, if the Pistons lose this series, I fully expect Saunders' tenure in Detroit will be over. Joe Dumars will simply not tolerate such negligence and ineptitude.


Sunday, May 6, 2007

Implications of Zone Defense and its Effects on the Legacy of the Game

Zone defense is the alternative to man-to-man defense, where players guard an allotted area rather than an individual player. The NBA outlawed zone defense on January 11, 1947. It stayed this way until the 2001-2002 regular season, where the NBA legalized zone for the first time in 54 years.

WHY WAS ZONE LEGALIZED?

What was the main reason zone defense was legalized?

The NBA will never admit to it publically, but zone defense was primarily legalized to contain Shaquille O'neal. Shaquille simply could not be guarded by one man, it was just not possible. It's a lopsided mismatch regardless of whoever is guarding him. Add Kobe Bryant to that team and it is plain to see that the league would be dominated for a long time to come. Therefor, in order to even out the playing field, the league legalized zone defense.

IMPLICATIONS OF ZONE DEFENSE ON THE LEGACY OF THE GAME

The media generally regards Michael Jordan as the greatest player to ever play the game. His legacy and career achievement are continuously being compared to today's generation of athletes. These comparisons are unfair however, because Jordan never had to deal with the complexities of zone defense. Jordan had the luxury of always going against one opponent on isolation plays. Today's great players like Kobe Bryant can be doubled without the ball and have to deal with swarms of defenders all around them. Therefor, the legalization of zone defense helped to secure Michael Jordan's legacy as the greatest player of all time.

ZONE VS HAND-CHECKING

The art of man-to-man defense has all but disappeared thanks to a barrage of new restrictive rules that reward the offensive player. One of these rules is the hand-checking rule. Essentially this curtails that the defensive player cannot use his hands against the defender.

Now how does hand-checking compare against zone?

While its true that the hand-checking rule did raise scoring and increase overall offensive output from 93.4 ppg to 97.2 ppg, it still does not affect the game as much as zone defense does.

The people who say zone defense is a weak defense do not know how to play it correctly. The Detroit Pistons play zone to perfection. If the opposition has one weak player, zone is the perfect way to force that player to create his own shot and take the ball out of the best players hands. If you want an example of this just watch how the 2007 Warriors played Dirk Nowitzki in the post-season.

As a scorer ask yourself this:

Would I rather have to deal with double and triple teams on the catch, or just deal with arm-bars on the drive?

Sure defense was more physical in the 80's, however the stars back then did not have to deal with the multitude of individual attention that players get today.

Zone may be weak against a team with five strong players, but it is great against dominant individuals .

Just look how much defensive attention Kobe Bryant gets, and what he has to deal with : Teams force other players to make shots.
Double-teamed 35 feet from the basket.


KB42PAH

Saturday, May 5, 2007

New Dynamics of the MVP Award, Self-Sufficiency, and why Dirk Nowitzki is not an MVP


NEW DYNAMICS OF THE MVP AWARD


For the greater part of NBA history, the NBA's season MVP's have generally met these requirements:
1) Arguably the best player in the league
2) The best individual season in the league
3) The most memorable season of the year
4) A self-sufficent player

Sadly however, the NBA, or rather the media has developed a new set of criteria's:

1) "Best player on the best team."
2) Unwritten 50-win requirement
3) More collective team wins = Strong MVP candidate
4) A player that "Makes his teammates better."

Over the last two seasons, this shift in values by the media has become more apparent. The players are receiving an 'individual accolade'' based on 'team success.' While it's true that team success should be of some merit, it should not be the determining factor of the award. Unfortunately, it is.

WHY DIRK NOWITZKI FALLS SHORT OF THE MVP AWARD IN SO MANY WAYS

An MVP must be SELF-SUFFICIENT. They must to be the unquestioned leader of the team and must also be able to fend for themselves, regardless of their teammate's performances.

Dirk Nowitzki is a top 10 player in the NBA without question. However, he is not the most valuable player on his team. That honor would be reserved for Josh Howard who:

a) Is the most significant determining factor in Maverick victories. They were 23-1 when he scored 20+ points.
b) Has given the Mavericks a defensive edge and identity.

Night in and nightout he guards the best swingmen in the league, and he does a pretty good job too. Although he has problems with quick guards (Dwyane Wade, Baron Davis), he is excellent at anticipating the offensive players tendencies in the triple threat position.

Not only is Dirk Nowitzki not their most valuable player, he isn't even their unquestioned leader. There are two types of leadership, vocal leadership and leadership by example. Jason "the Jet" Terry is the vocal leader of the Mavericks, the little general that is an extension of Avery himself on the court. He is not solely the leader due to his ascribed position as the team's point guard, it's just his personality. Some people lead, some people follow.

Not only does Dirk fail to be a vocal leader on the floor, he also fails to lead by example. How can a 90% foul-line shooter consistently miss clutch freethrows and disappear in big games? It is simply inexcusable. Prior to the playoffs, I called the Warriors to win the series in 6 games, and I was even more confident it would finish that way when Goldenstate lost that heartbreaker to Dallas in game 5. Dirk had his first 'typical' MVP-type game, which had been expected of him throughout the series. However, knowing Dirk, I knew he would not show up in back-to-back games.

As I re-iterated earlier Nowitzki is not self-sufficient. How does an MVP candidate go 2-13, for 8 points in an elimination game of the post-season? How come such an elite shooter, who not too long ago won the 3 point contest, lacks the confidence to shoot over players 8 inches shorter than him?

A few days ago on PTI,Wilbon and Kornheiser said they would "recast" their MVP votes for Nowitzki if they could. I'm sure alot of people would. But whats done is done, and Dirk will accepting the award from his living room on Monday.

Recap:

- Josh Howard, Jason Terry, and Avery Johnson had more to do with Dallas' 67-win regular season than Dirk Nowitzki did.
-Avery Johnson and Josh Howard are responsible for Dallas' defensive improvements. Johnson does not reward players with PT unless they play defense, and Howard has the physical tools to harass premier swingmen in the league.
-Dirk is not self-sufficient. He lacks the ability and the confidence to take over a game by himself. His success is dependant on others. Thus they are rewarding an individual for primarily a team effort. This reflects the media's new values in the NBA.
-Dirk also falls short on leadership prerequisites required of an MVP candidate. He is not a vocal leader (Terry) nor does he lead by example.

Will Dirk win the award? Yes. But for the second consecutive year now, the MVP award will be given out to an undeserving candidate.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

M.V.P = Media Voting on Popularity


I have been quoted as saying "The MVP award is a joke."

I will go into detail now about how the award has become nothing more than a media popularity contest in the last 2 seasons.

2005-2006 MVP BIAS EXPOSED

I think its ridiculous that Steve Nash has won 2 MVP awards yet has never even experienced a trip to the finals. Oh but wait, he makes his teammates better right? Wrong.

"Making your teammates better" is a popular expression that was coined by John Wooden and has been continuously repeated in the media.

No one can make their teammates better. It is impossible. You can't physically aid your teammates in putting the ball through the hoop. All you can do is give them the ball in their 'comfort zones.' You can't make them "better." Put Steve Nash on a team of 10 years olds. Will he make them better ? No. Nash has two all-stars on his team in Amare and Marion, and he is surrounded by world-class shooters. His starting-5 all shoot near or above 40% from distance. Therefor, Nash is not self-sufficient. He cannot win a game by himself. He is dependant on these world-class shooters to succeed. Steve Nash doesn't make his teammates better, he just gives them the ball and they put it through the net with their deadly shooting. It is not hard to rack up the assists when you have such deadly shooters.

KIDD VS NASH DILEMMA

Jason Kidd made it to the NBA finals in consecutive years in 2001-2002 and 2002-2003. He is a world-class defender that can hold his own against even the best offensive players. He is a triple-double machine that revitalized the Nets Franchise. Doesn't he make his teammates better? Didn't he dominate the Eastern conference and make the finals twice? Didn't he play on BOTH ends of the court?

Jason Kidd did not win an MVP either season.

ROSTER COMPARISION

Compare Steve Nash's 2005-2006 roster to Kobe Bryant's roster.

Nash has a superior supporting caste in Marion, Barbosa, Richardson, Bell, Thomas, Diaw, House - All expert shooters that spread the floor.

Joe Johnson who was on Nash's suns in 2004-2005 went to the Hawks the next season where he averaged 28ppg. So much for making him better.

Bryant on the other hand had one of the worst supporting castes in the game.

His second best player is inconsistent at best. His starting PG is an unfundamental, street-balling flake. His center, Kwame Brown, is 6-11 and can't make a layup in his 7th season.

TEAM RECORDS

Steve Nash's MVP award in 2005-2006 season was such a dishonest and deceitful decision by the media.

Phoenix played absolutely no defense giving up 106 ppg. They merely tried to outscore their opponents.

Team improvement is a huge factor when it comes to MVP voting.

Los Angeles went from a 34-48 season to a 45-37 season. An 11-game improvement.

Phoenix went from a 62-20 season to a 54-28 season. An 8-game regression.

So the media went against its own standards and not surprisingly rewarded Nash for having an inferior season.

INDIVIDUAL COMPARISONS

So not only did the Lakers have a better statistical improvement over the suns, Kobe's season trumped Nash's season in nearly every way.

Kobe's 2005-2006 season was one of the 5 best individual seasons in the history of the NBA.

He averaged 35.4 ppg, 5.4 rpg and 4.5 apg on 45%FG, 35% 3pT, and 85% FT.

His 35.4 ppg was the highest of the last 20 years.

He was the only player on BOTH
1) All-NBA 1st team
2) All-NBA Defensive 1st team.

He was the only player to score 2,800+ points and 180 three pointers in a season.
He had 7 games of 50+ points.
He had 27 games of 40+ points
He had 4 consecutive games of 45+ points
He had a game of 81 points, the 2nd highest scoring game in NBA history
He scored 62 points in 3 quarters, outscoring the entire Dallas team after 3 quarters -making him the first player in NBA history to outscore an entire team by himself. (That Dallas team proceeded to go to the 2006 NBA Finals.)

Nash on the other hand averaged 18.8 ppg, 10.5 apg, and 4.2 rpg on 51.2%FG, 43.9% 3PT, and 92.1% FT.

His ppg and apg both DECREASED from the previous season. So not only was his team's record worse from the last season, his individual numbers were as well.

HYPOTHETICAL CASE

Kobe averaged 35.4 ppg in the 'equality opportunity' triangle offense.' If you switch Bryant and Nash in 2005-2006, Phoenix would have been a 65+ win team, Kobe would have averaged 40 ppg and Phoenix would be highest scoring team in 20+ years.

Put Nash on Lakers of last year and they are at best a 38 win team.

PROOF OF BIAS

Kobe had one of the 5 most remarkable season in NBA history and the media's stubborn bias prevented him from getting the coveted award.

Voters have to fill out their 'top 5' candidates for the award, each slot receiving a respective number of points.

22/123 voters completely left him off of their top 5 , which is a true testament of how pathetic the award has become.

Kobe Bryant, Lebron James, Steve Nash, and Elton Brand were the only strong candidates for the award. There were 4 strong candidates.

How is it even fathomable that Kobe could be COMPLETELY left of the ballot by ANY credible voter?

I personally felt that both Kobe AND Lebron deserved it more than Nash.

POSSIBLE EXPLANATION

I love watching Steve Nash play, he is a quality point guard that has mastered the position - at least on the offensive end.

Steve Nash, despite the fact that he is an amazing basketball player, won the MVP just because he was white. Now don't jump the gun and try to follow my logic.

The media loved him, they could relate to him.

A vertically challenged and unathletic white-guy that dominates in a big, tall, athletically-dominated league.

Most of the voters physically resemble Nash and thus could relate to him effectively and subliminally it affected their decision making process.

The decision was pure robbery.

I think they should just change the award name from MVP and call it the STEVE NASH AWARD and just give it to him for the next 8 years because he "makes his teammates better."

New Mixes on the Horizon

I have two final mixes planned for this year.

The first one is "Kobe Bryant - The Inventor" and he second one is a non-laker mix (surprise).

I am also trying to release a mix I made last year but I am having trouble with the file extension.