BY AL BRUCE, Feedcrossing.com syndication
We already knew that Mark Cuban didn’t take the Mavericks’ 2006 NBA Finals loss to the Heat very well, but now we’re learning that the loss almost cost the NBA one of its best personalities.
SlamOnline.com (via Fort-Worth Star Telegram) reports that Cuban was so upset about the officiating in that series, that he considered selling the franchise that he had purchased from Ross Perot just six years earlier. ”We put out feelers,” Cuban said. ”I was really questioning the integrity of the game. After 2006, I was probably ready to sell. But I took some time off.” Cuban went on to say that he now wants his kids to own the team one day.
I certainly understand Cuban’s beef with the officiating after that Finals series, but I think the Sacramento Kings got the business much worse than Dallas in Sacramento’s 2002 Western Conference Finals Series against the Lakers. I have long recognized the legitimacy of the perception held by some that the NBA is rigged to favor big-market teams, so with that understanding I don’t think that a series that featured two big markets (Dallas and Miami) is the kind of series that would be ripe for a conspiracy theory the way that Sacramento-L.A. was. (more…)
We all hope and pray that our teams can survive the hurdles that are placed in front of them and the Dallas Mavericks are no different than any other team. When it was made known that Dirk Nowitzki was going to have to have knee surgery, everyone in the media jumped on the crappy bandwagon and bashed the Mavericks and said that there was no way they would make it without Dirk.
Well, the Mavericks had something to prove and they started out that very way. They took the opener of the season in Los Angeles and faced the heavily favored Lakers and was able to escape with a victory, and a nice one at that. Then they travelled to Utah the very next night and took a thumping against the Jazz, but there again, the Mavericks have taken thumpings from Utah before and that was with Dirk in the lineup, even if he got ejected during the course of some of the games; face it, Utah doesn’t like Dirk at all.
So we started the young season 1-1 with a relatively new team since when you put the team on the court and the only returning players are Shawn Marion, Vince Carter and Branden Wright. You have a new point guard, shooting guard, power forward/center (depending on where Wright plays), so to start your game, it’ s a brand new lineup, but I think they worked well together, but there again we were facing teams that was in that category of “teams that you should beat”. (more…)
When a team is completely remade just 15 months after winning a championship, some wonder if the head coach could soon be on the chopping block.
There is no need to worry about that with Rick Carlisle. As he begins his second four-year term with the Dallas Mavericks as head coach, he is the perfect man for this job, one that will consist of finding a way to mesh a roster with five new projected rotation players and three rookies.
Carlisle has the tools to make it work with this new team, one that has a completely new backcourt, as well as a new starting center. His reputation as a players’ coach will help this squad gel quicker than the average new-look team.
When you compare him to the other coaches of the Dirk Nowitzki era, Carlisle has the perfect mix of qualities. He knows when to push the buttons of certain players, as well as encourage them. He also mixes in his on-court strategies admirably.
Don Nelson was a great coach but did not nearly focus enough on defense to get his Mavs teams close to competing for a title. To this day, he is still known for his high-powered offenses and little-resisting defenses, as he moved that philosophy to the Golden State Warriors recently, a team that beat the Mavs in the first round of the playoffs in 2007.
Avery Johnson gained a reputation of not being the perfect players coach during his tenure with the Mavs. He often was too hard on his then-young point guard Devin Harris. He also made very bad mistakes, ones that could of been avoided with the common sense approach of Carlisle. The biggest one that comes to mind was during the 2006 Finals when Josh Howard called a timeout he couldn’t call. That resulted in two free throws for Dwayne Wade, eventually leading the Miami Heat to that win and the 2006 title. Even though Johnson had a great regular season record with the Mavs, he didn’t succeed well in the playoffs. Johnson didn’t have what it took to be a great coach at the most crucial times. One could argue that if Carlisle was coaching the 2006 team, the Mavs would have two titles. (more…)
After one week off, Couch Side hosts Wade McMillin and Craig Paul return to review the 2012 NFL Draft. The gang also discusses Lamar Odom possibly leaving reality TV, the NHL playoffs and Hideki Matsui’s signing with the Tampa Bay Rays. Special guest this week is Heidi Pierce.
BY MEDIA DAILY LA, Feedcrossing.com syndication
TMZ is reporting that after the second season of the reality show ends, Odom will begin focusing on his return back to the NBA hard floor. Although Odom won’t have his own reality show, the couple — Lamar and Khole — will make appearances on the Kardashian’s family reality show “Keeping Up With The Kardashians” — a nother E! Network reality show.
It was reported back in March that Odom didn’t want to do anymore reality shows, as he believed it was missing up his game play on the basketball court.
Lamar was recently seen with Khole and his sister-in-law Kim in Brooklyn, as Lamar was teaching Kim how to play basketball, which will be featured on the new season of “Keeping Up With The Kardashians”.
BY MATTHEW VINSKO AND BRETT MURDOCK, Couchsideshow.com writers
If you would have asked us this past summer who we thought would win the NBA Championship, I’m sure we would have had three answers for you: the Miami Heat, the Oklahoma City Thunder, or the most likely scenario, no champion at all.
With the lockout breathing down the NBA’s neck, it was hard to have realistic expectations for a 2011-12 NBA season. Though the shortened schedule has led to its share of surprises (I’m looking at you, Utah Jazz), the older mainstays have managed to stay true to form and the young, upcoming teams have seemingly dominated a shorter, more physically daunting schedule (with the exception of the San Antonio Spurs; how does Popovich do it?).
Now that the regular season is over and the match-ups are set, it’s prediction time, and who better to run down the NBA playoffs than two diehard fans? We will admit our last article was a WWE-themed article, so it’s time to pop our cherry once and for all and tackle a real sport.
(1) San Antonio Spurs vs. (8) Utah Jazz
Matt: I was a little disheartened to see the Jazz easily dismantle the Phoenix Suns this past Tuesday, breaking the hearts of Phoenix fans while ensuring Utah’s trip to the postseason. Now that it’s all said and done though, I have a hard time picking either of the two against the Spurs. Though San Antonio showed last year that one-seeds aren’t unbeatable, I don’t see them losing two years in a row in first-round upsets. Plus, Utah’s front court players (Derrick Favors, Al Jefferson, and Paul Millsap) aren’t nearly as intimidating as Memphis’ combination of Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol a year ago. Expect a pretty lopsided series in my eyes where the veterans show the young studs a thing or two about postseason basketball.
Winner: San Antonio Spurs in 5
Brett: I spent last Tuesday night at Matt’s house, watching the Suns/Jazz battle it out for a playoff spot while simultaneously writing our Extreme Rules predictions. When the triple zeroes hit and the Suns had lost and missed out on a chance for the final berth, I was left not heartbroken nor happy, but relieved. Because I knew that I would not have to watch the Suns endure a humiliating first round exit to the Spurs, which is what the Jazz will encounter. San Antonio is a deep team, starting with their Big 3 of Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili (bleh) and Tim Duncan, the greatest power forward ever. Their bench is young and talented and the late-season acquisitions of Stephen Jackson, Patty Mills and Boris Diaw were solid. The Jazz are young but inexperienced in the playoffs and will have trouble containing the Spurs on both ends of the floor. This one should be a cakewalk for San Antonio.
Winner: Spurs in 5 (more…)
BY KEVIN BERTRAM, Couchsideshow.com contributor
However, playing behind the perennial all-star left the Polish Hammer — as Orlando fans came to know him — with little playing time and an even smaller role on offense. In 63 games during the 2008-2009 season, Gortat played only 12.6 minutes per game, despite hitting on a solid .567 percent of his field goal attempts. Most of his field goals came from grabbing offensive boards and putting the ball back up. As shown in this clip, he was capable of much more …
Orlando, seeing that they had the unique problem of having two, starting-caliber centers, attempted to correct the problem by playing lineups that featured both Gortat and Howard on the court at the same time.
BY WADE MCMILLIN, Couchsideshow.com editor
Fans worried about NBA player Kris Humphries after his divorce with TV star Kim Kardashian can finally rest easy.
The 6-foot-9 power forward reached a one-year deal with the New Jersey Nets worth a reported $8 million Wednesday morning. So it looks like it’s finally back to basketball for the Minnesota native. And I’m happy for Humphries and even more merry that another Kardashian won’t be on the NBA sidelines.
We’ll still have to see Khloe at Dallas Mavericks games, watching her husband, Lamar Odom, ball in white and blue. But I can sleep easy tonight, knowing that her sister won’t be court side in New Jersey this season. The split between Kim Kardashian and Humphries came just 72 days after the couple were married in a wedding blown completely out of proportion. And now with the prenuptial agreement in affect, Humphries can start concentrating on basketball.
Playing at an effective level was something I thought Humphries needed to do long before he met his reality star ex-wife. Now, with her out of the way, I hope a new spark of passion finds the former Minnesota Gopher so he can finally live up to his potential. And after seven years of mediocrity with four different teams, Humphries could do just that this season with New Jersey.
He should undoubtedly be the Nets’ starting power forward, sharing the paint with budding NBA superstar Brook Lopez. And a duo like Lopez and Humphries could be dangerous for other teams in the East. Add Deron Williams in New Jersey’s back court and this team could be playoff bound as early as this spring. The Nets might land the No. 8 seed, but that would be a godsend for New Jersey fans, considering their team hasn’t appeared in the playoffs since the 2005-2006 season.
BY WADE MCMILLIN, Couchsideshow.com editor
Lately I’ve been finding myself arguing or disagreeing with people about the Los Angeles Lakers.
It’s funny to me because I’m not a huge fan of Team Kobe. I’ll admit that the boys in yellow and purple are fun to watch. I would even like to see them win the NBA Finals again because I respect Kobe Bryant as a player. And because those are my feelings, I’ll go to bat for the Lakers from time to time. I have recently defended L.A. because a lot of their fans do not like the fact that the front office traded Lamar Odom for nothing and weren’t able to make successful swaps for either Dwight Howard or Chris Paul.