Monday, May 3, 2004

NBA Talkables

*Gotta love the LeBron v. Carmelo debate for the Rookie Award.  But, the Detroit Free Press chimed in with this stat:  The Pistons were 31-4 when Darko Milicic plays and only 24-24 when he doesn't.

*How odd is it that Terry Stotts of the Atlanta Hawks has the East's longest tenure.  The second longest??  Well, in terms of calendar time, it would be the expansion Charlotte Bobcats' Bernie Bickerstaff.  He's been on the job longer than 14 of the 15 head guys.

*Speaking of the Hawks, I pray to God they don't win the draft lottery.  Nothing against Atlanta...I just hope they aren't "pressured" into drafting HS player Dwight Howard, from SW Atlanta Christian Academy, first overall.  I'm sure they'd perfer Okafur instead.

*And speaking of the NBA Draft Lottery, this will be the first lottery pick in Utah Jazz history.

*With the #3 Spurs having the homecourt advantage over the #2 Lakers this week, it brings up an interesting predicement next season.  It could realistically happen that the #6 seed will have a better record than a #3 seed.  Imagine a 42-40 Miami Heat team winning the Southeast Division and the New York Knicks claim the 6th seed with a 45-37 record.  Under current NBA rules, the Knicks would own the home court for that series.

*This stat courtesy of ESPN Magazine:  The five-man unit that spent the most time on the court together this season is the Kings Peja, Miller, Divac, Bibby and Christie.  They played 27% of the total minutes played in Kings games together on the floor.  Kind of amazing that a team's starting five only really stays on the floor together an average of 9.5 minutes a game.

*Remember this name of draft day [and that I said it back in 2004 when he's a star in 2007]...........Al Jefferson.

*OT:  With the recent news that Pat Tillman was killed in combat, doesn't Kellen Winslow II's comments that he was "a [expletive] soldier" after a football game seem a little weak.  Especially from a guy that is the son of an NFL Hall Of Famer.

*After KG's touching comments that the Wolves playoff series victory was for guys like Pooh Richardson, Isiah Rider and Christie Laettner.....shouldn't [us] Laker fans say that the recent success is for guys like Sedale Threatt, Ced Ceballos, Vlade Divac and Elden Campbell....the guys that held it down between the Magic and Shaq eras?

*Well, Don Nelson has been given the noose.  Does he hang up the 25 members of his coaching staff with it [as Cuban wants] or will he use it on himself [as he should do]?  By the way, if he stays on as coach, he should pass Pat Riley into 2nd place in all time victories.  But Nelson has never been to the NBA Finals as a head coach.

*Speaking of that, of the top 13 coaches who have the most all-time win, they've got a combined 26 NBA Championships between them.  Well, 22 of them are divided up between 3 guys:  Phil Jackson (9), Red Auerbach (9) and Pat Riley (4).  Lenny Wilkens, Bill Fitch, Dick Motta and Jack Ramsey have one apiece.  Don Nelson, Jerry Sloan, Larry Brown, Cotton Fitzsimmons, Gene Shue and George Karl have none.

*I played PG in rec leagues and I loved the theory that you need a great PG to win the title.  I'd still like to believe it.  But here are the starting PGs for the last 13 championships: Tony Parker, Derek Fisher, Ron Harper, Avery Johnson, Kenny Smith and BJ Armstrong.  The last time a season's assist leader also won the title was in 1987, the Lakers' Magic Johnson.

*Tim Duncan is only the SIXTH man in NBA history to win multiple NBA titles and multiple MVPs with 2 of each.  But, the other five have gone onto to win quite a few more.  The others are Michael Jordan (5 MVPs, 6 Titles), Magic Johnson (3, 5), Larry Bird (3, 3), Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (6, 6), Wilt Chamberlain (4, 2) and Bill Russell (5, 11).

*Nine of the 29 players to lead their teams in scoring last season, didn't finish with those same teams this season.  Those nine are Glenn Robinson, Jalen Rose, Ricky Davis, Juwan Howard, Antawn Jamison, Gary Payton, Stephon Marbury, Rasheed Wallace and Karl Malone.

*Kevin Garnett will win the 2004 NBA MVP award.  This marks the 5th time in the last 6 seasons the MVP has been from the Western Conference.  It also marks the 17th time in the last 18 years that the MVP wasn't from a team in the Eastern Time Zone.  The lone winner was Philly's Allen Iverson in 2001.


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