Since the NBA Playoffs last 8 months and the Finals of one season span the course of 4 decades, most teams are already going about their business while the Twittersphere is lighting up with referee death threats from fans of the Dallas Mavericks and the Miami Heat. The first step for the crappy teams is finding a new coach, so of course owners and general managers are sifting through the bargain bins for discounts on previously-used team personnel that couldn’t succeed in other cities but might do better with a little refurbishing.
The Los Angeles Lakers have already hired former Cleveland Cavaliers coach Mike Brown after flirting with and teasing Brian Shaw, as the Lakers haven’t even called him since hiring Brown. The Houston Rockets decided that it was time for Boston Celtics legend Kevin McHale to stop giving away All-Stars and start coaching them (if they ever sign one again) and Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni says that he feels confident with his job security after Donnie Walsh was canned this weekend for not taking a pay cut*. That leaves the Golden State Warriors, possibly the Minnesota Timberwolves, and the Detroit Pistons without coaches, and the Pistons are already at the bin, sifting away.
Pistons president Joe Dumars and his basketball staff have a preliminary list of candidates including former Hawks coach Mike Woodson, Mavs assistant Dwane Casey, former Nets coach Lawrence Frank, Bucks assistant Kelvin Sampson, and ABC/ESPN broadcaster Mark Jackson, league sources told CBSSports.com. Former Pistons star Bill Laimbeer also is expected to receive consideration, as is Hornets assistant Michael Malone. (CBS Sports)
Please, Detroit, not that I care about the Pistons or want to see them return to dominance, but for the betterment of the entertainment value of the NBA – please hire Bill Laimbeer. Hell, he could end up being a fantastic head coach. But at the very least he brings some balls back to a league that had its pair detached years ago. And if I’m willing to support a long-running Bill Simmons argument, then by God I must be serious.
*And giving away the house for Carmelo Anthony and then being the victim of an arrogant and idiotic owner, who couldn’t see that Walsh actually rescued the franchise and gave it life again, and was probably deserving of the $5 million that he was going to make.
Miami Heat 88, Dallas Mavericks 86 (Series: 2-1 MIA)
This has certainly become one of the more entertaining NBA Finals series in the 3.2 decades that I’ve been alive, and last night’s exciting action combined with same old referee sh*tshow got me wondering – what would life have been like if we had Twitter and Facebook during the 80s and 90s? I can’t even imagine the servers that would have crashed in 1998 after #jordanpushedrussell became the biggest trending topic in the history of Twitter. My Geocities account wouldn’t have been able to handle it. But that’s something that I can address when I invent time travel and take my sports almanac back 15 years to replace that stack of Penthouses.
In the meantime, Chris Bosh is getting the credit for his late jumper that gave the Heat their 2-point edge, and that was an important shot because that’s what he should be doing. This phony baloney “GRRRRR I’M NOT SOFT, I’M AN INSIDE PRESENCE” schtick needs to end and Bosh can embrace his true role as an overpaid outstanding long range shooter and let Udonis Haslem be the primary muscle down low, so Dirk Nowitzki doesn’t get any more easy lanes for two, and ends up getting stuffed on his sloppy fade away jumpers like he did last night. And speaking of shot selection, with 4.4 seconds left in the game, it should be certain that a rebound opportunity isn’t going to happen, so a put-back is almost out of the question. Yet the Mavs left Tyson Chandler on the floor with Dirk and three shooters. Why not Dirk, Jason Terry, Jason Kidd, DeShawn Stevenson and J.J. Barea? Didn’t make very much sense to me, but I suppose Rick Carlisle will keep treating the Finals like a one-game-at-a-time event.