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MMPG: The FourCast


Wanna come back, Mike? Wait up Steve, I'm heckling Steve Kerr right now. (Sports Illustrated)


1. New York at Phoenix (Monday)
Of note: Mike D'Antoni felt that he was wrongfully dismissed after Phoenix lost in the first round last season. D'Antoni won an average of 58 games the past four seasons in Phoenix and many of his former players rejected Terry Porter as if he were some wicked stepmother. The Suns are winning but far from harmonious, and Steve Nash will get another harsh reminder of the business side of basketball when he faces the coach that turned him into a two-time MVP.

2. Dallas at New Jersey (Friday)
Of note: What better time to keep up the Jason Kidd-Devin Harris debate? Kidd makes his return to Izod Center, where he led the franchise to back-to-back NBA Finals in 2002-03. Kidd hasn't been terrible with Dallas (9.7 points and 8.5 assists), but he hasn't exactly been able to propel the Mavericks back into the upper echelon in the Western Conference either. It doesn't help that the guy he was traded for is playing like an all-star. Harris has excelled in the Nets' dribble-drive offense, and he now has freedom he never would've received in Dallas.

3. Los Angeles Lakers at Miami (Friday)
Of note: This used to be the ideal Christmas Day game when Shaquille O'Neal was on South Beach. While the Shaq-Kobe feud is discussed only when the Lakers face Phoenix, that leaves a Heat-Lakers battle to be carried on by the individual talents of the league's reigning most valuable player (Kobe Bryant) and the league's leading scorer (Dwyane Wade).

4. Cleveland at Denver (Friday)
Of note: When LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony entered the league five years ago, they were billed as the next Magic and Bird. That was a bit of ridiculous hyperbole, especially since both players were joining 17-win teams at the time. James and Anthony haven't had much of rivalry in the NBA because neither has been on a great team. Now James and Anthony are both on the best teams of their respective careers, making this matchup more intriguing than most.

Others in consideration: New Jersey at Toronto (Monday); Utah at Boston (Monday); Denver at Dallas (Monday); San Antonio at New Orleans (Wednesday); San Antonio at Orlando (Thursday); Phoenix at Portland (Thursday); Los Angeles Lakers at Orlando; Denver at Phoenix (Saturday); New York at Boston (Sunday)

By Michael Lee  |  December 15, 2008; 12:29 PM ET
 
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Next: The Other Side: Indiana Pacers

Comments

"DC_MAN88

The Wizards will put AJ on KG and let AJ play his shut down D and hold KG to 30 and 10.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | December 7, 2008 2:37 PM "

Yeah, by half time.

Again, please...no more MMPG!!!!

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | December 15, 2008 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Hey Michael what about the WIZ vs........ oh never mind.

Posted by: dargregmag | December 15, 2008 12:45 PM | Report abuse

Another coach bites the dust,Reggie Theus.

Posted by: jeremydvid | December 15, 2008 1:38 PM | Report abuse

This is soooooooo sad that the people who write the Clipards blog talk more about other teams and the good players in this league more then they do the Clipards.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | December 15, 2008 2:04 PM | Report abuse

This coach firing is reaching comical proportions. So far, not a single one of the poorly constructed, under-talented teams that have canned their coaches have shown any improvement under the new guys. So really, what's the point? Anyone who looks at the rosters of the Wizards, Wolves, Kings, or Thunder and thinks coaching is the main problem is living in dreamland.

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 15, 2008 2:19 PM | Report abuse

And can I say that, as much as I like and respect Nash as a player, I'm sick of listening to him whine about the Suns not having "fun" anymore. Maybe if they hadn't fallen short in the playoffs year after year, D'Antoni would still be around and the whole thing would be a big party. And maybe if Nash, as the team's leader, spent less time pissing and moaning to the press and more time leading, the team might be better off.

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 15, 2008 2:56 PM | Report abuse

The one thing the teams that have fired their head coach have in common is they are all (except Tor) under the Luxury cap....

Tor 73 million
Wash 70 million
Sac 69 million
Phi 67 million
Minn 65 million
OKC 59 million

See being cheap gets you nothing.....Yes that means you ABE, sell the team to someone who wants to play in the big leagues. Don’t worry, you can go buy a NBA developmental team somewhere, since that is where you belong.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | December 15, 2008 3:04 PM | Report abuse

"So far, not a single one of the poorly constructed, under-talented teams that have canned their coaches have shown any improvement under the new guys."

Why the short leash? Give them ample time. They're coaches and not magicians. You can't expect them to correct the wrong overnight, do you? Not everyone has EJ's capabilities.

Posted by: Dave381 | December 15, 2008 3:29 PM | Report abuse

The two things the following teams have in common:

Orlando
Utah
San Antonio
Atlanta
New Orleans

is that they're all well above .500 and they're all further below the luxury tax/have smaller payrolls than the Wizards.

See, spending lots of money guarantees you nothing.

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 15, 2008 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Do you think Jim Zorn should be fired because he wasn't able to take the Skins to the playoff?

Memo to EJ fans: Let go already. This is beyond grieving and denial stage. Even EJ's wife has accepted the situation.

Posted by: Dave381 | December 15, 2008 3:43 PM | Report abuse

"Why the short leash? Give them ample time. They're coaches and not magicians. You can't expect them to correct the wrong overnight, do you?"

Exactly my point.

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 15, 2008 3:44 PM | Report abuse

"Do you think Jim Zorn should be fired because he wasn't able to take the Skins to the playoff?"

Of course not (what an incredibly stupid, pointless, irrelevant, and backwards question). The point is, the coaches who have gotten fired should not have been because they're coaching teams that, as constructed, are simply not good enough to win. Changing coaches 25 or fewer games into the season (esp. when you're replacing experienced ones with inexperienced ones) will not change that. As we've now seen.

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 15, 2008 3:49 PM | Report abuse

And my point is to give E Tapscott at least the end of the season if he can improve the team. We can't tell, at least for now, if he's a good or bad coach. Rapport with a team takes months. We don't even know if what he got are already damaged goods.

Posted by: Dave381 | December 15, 2008 3:59 PM | Report abuse

The two things the following teams have in common:

Orlando 920,730 less then the Clipards
Utah 4,626,648 less then the Clipards
San Antonio 1,787,150 less then the Clipards
Atlanta 2,247,139 less then the Clipards
New Orleans 2,422,434 less then the Clipards

is that they're all well above .500 and they're all further below the luxury tax/have smaller payrolls than the Clipards.

See, spending lots of money guarantees you nothing.

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 15, 2008 3:42 PM

The only teams that have a chance to chance to win a championship this year are

Cleveland 20,027,651 more then the Clipards
Boston 10,521,543 more then the Clipards
Lakers 8,588,522 more then the Clipards

So what you are telling me it’s not that ABE is cheap it that he was stupid to resign AJ and Gilbert?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | December 15, 2008 4:15 PM | Report abuse

"See, spending lots of money guarantees you nothing.

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 15, 2008 3:42 PM "

People accuse Abe for being cheap not just b/c he's unwilling to go over the lux tax welfare cap.

It's also because of how he runs the organization.

Abe will never pay big money for a high dollar coach with championship pedigree as a coach. Gar "blew me away" Heard comes to mind...as does Wes Unseld as coach...Wes Unseld Jr. as head scout...

Abe, before MJ took over, also never had international scouting covering Europe and Asia, and routinely had his players take charter buses and stay in motels and supposedly had players book their own flights.

Les BouleS was a mom and pop shop until not so long ago, and compared to other franchises (such as Miami, Dallas, etc.), they are still mom and pop level.

In conclusion, again, being cheap ain't just about how much one is willing to spend on contracts, it's also about how they run the business.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | December 15, 2008 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Stop it!!!ETAP is not qualified to be the coach PERIOD! What pray tell qualifies him as a NBA coach, hmmmmm..... let's see, not one thing other than having some type of previous dealings with that "master" of a GM Ernie Grunfeld whose only agenda was getting rid of Eddie Jordan after sabotaging his career with shortsighted personel moves.Jordan got more out of this team than anyone with commomn NBA knowledge had a right to expect even after going through almost two seasons with their best player injured but that wasn't good enough for the "GM" and some of you so called knowledgeable Wizard fans,i've said it once and i'll say it again all of you, who were so happy to see EJ gone will be by the all star break wondering why if you're not all ready.

Posted by: dargregmag | December 15, 2008 4:26 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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