Basketball is so much more enjoyable when there’s not a losing home team to worry about, take for example Game 5 of the Cleveland-Washington series last night. The Cavs were up 5 and with the ball with about 1:30 left and Lebron jacked up an ill-advised three. The rest is history as Washington forces Game 6 at home (probably because Arenas didn’t play). With 11 seconds to run a play Caron Butler drove the ball straight at Lebron to get the go-ahead points. Notice that he didn’t take a perimeter jump shot about 3 feet out of his range after just catching the ball from his point guard, even though he was being guarded by the other team’s best defender. Ahhhh. That felt good.
The Phoenix Suns are being mentioned a lot, trade ideas involving the acquisition of Barbosa and Diaw seem to be popular with TJ Ford + chump change going the other way. Steven Nash is on the decline and since TJ Ford is the closest thing to him it make a little sense that TJ could be linked with a move to the desert. He might have the run ‘n gun in him but he sure doesn’t have the outside shot, left-handed finishing ability, ability to keep the dribble alive under pressure, poise, and most of all discipline. Phoenix is one of those teams that’s always trying to hunt for the title, I don’t see them giving the reigns to Ford and feeling confident of even making the playoffs. At best if he goes there, he’s going to play backup until Nash retires or dies.
The Atlanta Hawks might be a better fit for TJ Ford, he could get away with a lot more there than if he was playing under the high-scrutiny of the Suns. The Hawks need a point guard and we got a spare one – it’s a match made in heaven. Bibby isn’t going to stick around and Ford comes relatively cheap, there’s always the injury risk but the ROI for the Hawks could be good. I’ll take Marvin Williams or Josh Childress, thank you.
Jack McCallum is reporting that Mike D’Antoni is on the outs in Phoenix which is going to make Bryan Colangelo regret saying that Mitchell is safe. If the story is true and D’Antoni is fired, there is no way Sam Mitchell will be the coach of the Raptors next year. Colangelo will convince MLSE to swallow Mitchell’s salary at the chance of hiring D’Antoni again. In Colangelo’s world where defense and rebounding always come second to racking up points, D’Antoni could conceivably be the guy that turns the Raptors into Phoenix East, something that was always the intent. Will that translate to playoff success? Probably not, but will it give the fans some false hope that this team might even wind a round or two? Oh yes. His poor defensive record will hardly matter for teams who’ll be looking to replicate the regular season success of the Suns and are too distant from the playoffs to even worry about the results there. The Knicks are already licking their chops. BTW, I tend to believe McCallum, he’s the chap who wrote the 7 seconds or less book after stalking the Suns for a year.
Funny story from a couple days back at Bryan Colangelo being furious at Sam Mitchell for playing a round of golf on Sunday, a day after going down 3-1 to Orlando. I had trouble getting out of bed and Mitchell’s playing golf. Nice.
The most annoying blog on the planet has to be Jose Calderon’s, he insists on publishing it in PDF format where copying the text is impossible. To the Nazi fuckers running that site: its called HTML. In his post after Game 5 he’s contemplating his future and professing his love for Canada. Say what you will about those Euros, they’ll never complain about Toronto as a city. They might leave for cash-money reasons but it’ll never be because they feel that playing in Toronto is holding back their careers. To some that might be reason enough for signing them. Not to me.
WTF is up with Sam Dalembert? The TNT crew picked Boston to finish of Atlanta in Game 6. No way Jose. This one’s coming back to Boston.