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View Full Version : The Mavs and Suns era in the west is over



Unclebuck
04-28-2008, 09:51 AM
The similarities between the two teams is rather striking. Both teams are down 1-3 and both teams will lose in the first round. Both teams made huge trades in the middle of the season that mortgaged their future. Both coaches are in real danger of being fired. Both teams have aging point guards. Both teams have great power forwards (Dirk and Amare)

I was thinking about this yesterday and I would like to hear some of your opinions on these two teams which have been clearly passed by in the west. The Jazz, Lakers and Hornets have passed these two teams. Not to mention the Spurs.

Where should these teams go from here. Should both coaches be replaced. Of the two I think Avery is the better coach. But because of the way the mavs lost in the finals and then losing in the first round last year and this year, it is probably a good time to change coaches - things need to change in Dallas. I tend to think everyone overrates the Mavs talent, besides Dirk what do they really have.

I've never believed that D'Antoni is a really good coach. Great offensive coach, but defensively he doesn't seem to emphasize it like he should. Overall I think he lets the players do whatever they want - he's lucky to have had Nash keep the team together.
Nash is slipping, Shaq is done after this postseason. Amare is great. But the amazing thing to me is how much the Suns have changed in two short seasons. They aren't a threat from three point range anymore - they don't have good shooters. Amare and Shaq generally aren't good defenders.

It should be a very interesting summer in Dallas and Phoenix - hotter than normal.

Any thoughts. Will the Suns be better than the Mavs two years from now.

Rajah Brown
04-28-2008, 10:15 AM
Assuming there was probably at least a brief interval this past
Summer when the Mavs could have moved Dirk + whatever
for Kobe, they blew it by not doing so. Trading for a close
to washed up Kidd just added insult to injury.

As for Phoenix, I'm not sure they'd be in a much different spot
with Marion rather than Shaq. Though at least with Marion
they could try and win playoff games 112-108 instead of both
struggling to score and playing very little D.


All I can say about the WC in general is this. In another 2-3 years,
the L.A.-Portland matchups are gonna be something else !

clownskull
04-28-2008, 10:18 AM
i thought phoenix getting shaq was a horrible idea. he is sooooo slow and groundbound and has been for several years now. i don't think the suns realized this is the 2008 shaq not 2002.
a while ago, shaq could defend the paint at a level that few others could even approach due to his massive size and freakish athletic ability. but with his being lazy and overweight, he can't/wont jump over a dime anymore. it's been a while since i have even seen him try to jump. oh wait, he did jump once in this series, when he blocked a shot by duncan but, that was it. effort has never really been one of shaq's stronger qualities. i have seen several times where a spurs player shoots the ball in front of shaq and forget about him jumping to try to block the shot, he doesn't even raise his damn arms!!. he pissed and moaned about not getting enough shots in miami but when you spend the last several years mailing it in like he has and getting paid crazy cash too- it makes me sick.

dallas is finding out jason kidd is about 70-75% of what he used to be and that it ain't gonna be enough.

Taterhead
04-28-2008, 10:19 AM
They both made BIG mistakes with the trades they made. They fell in love with names, and paid a big price. They both should be very active this offseason.

Question is, would either of these teams make good partners for us in a trade? They will certainly be entertaining offers.

clownskull
04-28-2008, 10:45 AM
well, i don't know the contracts of either player but, i sure wouldn't want shaq. he couldn't help the pacers with their more up tempo game. he is useless now. not to mention he doesn't want to play for cold weather teams because he is a wuss.
kidd is a little more useful but, i can't see him being a useful addition for the future of this franchise.

jmoney2584
04-28-2008, 11:03 AM
JO to PHNX? He would provide immidiate defense and a great secondary option behind amare`. JO wouldnt have to be the main guy he could just guard the paint and having nash for a year or two would make him a bit more formidable.

Kofi
04-28-2008, 11:14 AM
The Jason Kidd trade is going to go down in infamy. What a horrendous mistake by the Mavs. Devin Harris is a better player right now than Jason Kidd, and is a decade his junior. Not to mention their contracts and the sweetener Dallas gave up. Just horrible. I really don't know where Dallas goes from here.

As for Phoenix, I don't think the Shaq trade was nearly as bad. In fact the Suns looked pretty good post-trade and Shaq has played fairly well. Phoenix just so happened to match-up with the defending NBA champions in the first round, a hell of a tough break. The series could easily be tied 2-2 right now. I think the Suns will make a few adjustments and again be a 55+ win team. Hopefully they don't land the Spurs in round 1 again, or if they do, they better have made some adjustments. They sure could use some defense. Maybe a 6'11" shot blocker that's also one of the best in the league at taking charges? Someone like that would be a great fit in Phoenix.

dohman
04-28-2008, 11:18 AM
I don't see the mavs being blown up yet. They still have a good core of guys with dirk, howard, jet, stackhouse and kidd. Say what you want but kidd is still a very good PG. I see them hitting the free agency trying to get a jeff foster type of player. They will be ok and they will be back at the top of the standings next year just like they are every year.

When you have billions of dollars and you main goal is to win a NBA title. IT will happen.

Rajah Brown
04-28-2008, 11:35 AM
Sure, Kidd is still a good to very good PG...in the EC. The problem is,
he's not in the EC anymore. He can't guard either Paul or Parker to
save his life and Nash is a struggle too.

As Pacers fans know all to well, if your PG can't guard the opposing
PG, it's a major, major problem.

pwee31
04-28-2008, 11:39 AM
They both made BIG mistakes with the trades they made. They fell in love with names, and paid a big price. They both should be very active this offseason.

Question is, would either of these teams make good partners for us in a trade? They will certainly be entertaining offers.

I think Dallas would be interesting. Mostly because of Josh Howard. I think he'll be moved.

Now I don't expect him to come here, but we could come in as a 3rd team. Howard could go to a team who needs a SF... say like Portanld for instance. We could then send like #11 and a players to Dallas, and Portland would send us #13, one of their PGs.

Of course other players would have to be added for salary.
Not saying that's going to be a deal, but something along those lines would get us involved

MyFavMartin
04-28-2008, 12:04 PM
I'd be more interested in pulling a trade with the teams that Shaq and Kidd came from, Miami and NJ, who both came out with draft picks and young talent.

CableKC
04-28-2008, 12:04 PM
The reality is that both teams took a huge gamble that did not pay off THIS season.

I mentioned this in one of the other threads.....but I would consider the games under Shaq and Kidd for this season a period of adjustment and learning. Realistically speaking.....making a major trade and roster shakeup 1/2 way through the season can easily work out ( or not ) for your team.

I would expect the respective FOs for the Mavs and Suns to take stock of what works and what didn't work and do their best to fix whatever problems they have going forward ( not like they have any choice ).

I won't consider either trades a complete mistake until I see how they do in the 2008-2009 season with their primary core of players. It's unrealistic to expect that both teams would be instantly transformed into different teams that are better when you try to incorporate a player like Kidd or Shaq into an offense that has essentially remained intact over the last couple of seasons.

CableKC
04-28-2008, 12:06 PM
I'd be more interested in pulling a trade with the teams that Shaq and Kidd came from, Miami and NJ, who both came out with draft picks and young talent.
Although the Heat did get a younger player in Marion.....they didn't get anything else of value in that trade that is worth noting. I don't think that any picks were exchanged.

MyFavMartin
04-28-2008, 01:20 PM
Although the Heat did get a younger player in Marion.....they didn't get anything else of value in that trade that is worth noting. I don't think that any picks were exchanged.

Good point. Heat do now have cap space (I believe) and have some young guys that I wouldn't mind the Pacers picking up (Haslem, Cook, Wright). Think they'd be interested in JO and Tinman?

NJ is stocked in what they got for Kidd. Dallas' first rounder this years and 2010!

maragin
04-28-2008, 01:33 PM
You raise a good point about their similarities.

If PHX ditches D'Antoni, which I don't think they will, I would be very interested to have him as our coach. If we stick to this "we're an up-tempo team" approach, he'd be great to have calling the shots.

Note: I've been against this change in team philosophy from the start.

AesopRockOn
04-28-2008, 01:44 PM
The Suns would kill the Mavs in a seven game series.

Rajah Brown
04-28-2008, 01:49 PM
If both the Raptors and Suns bow out in 5 games, a reunion of
D'Antoni and his old GM up in Toronto is a distinct possibility.

Major Cold
04-28-2008, 01:55 PM
Next summer Dirk will be traded.

Barbosa should be shopped.


Other than that I do not see much shake up, since shake up is what made them worse.

grace
04-28-2008, 01:57 PM
Sure, Kidd is still a good to very good PG

A very good point guard does not give up 40 points to Anthony Johnson.

Trader Joe
04-28-2008, 03:27 PM
The Spurs think the title of this thread is funny. They didn't know that there ever was a Mavs and Suns era in the west. I can't blame them it was pretty uneventful only one NBA finals apperance for either team.

OakMoses
04-28-2008, 05:08 PM
I agree with most of the sentiments on this thread.

Dallas is in a pretty hopeless situation. They certainly can't continue with the same roster and expect to be a better team next year. What's sad is that Dallas will lose $30 million in salary between this year and next and still be over the salary cap with only 7 guys under contract. Without moving Dirk, Terry, or Howard, I don't see how this team can get any better.

Phoenix is in a much better situation because they've got a lot more talent than Dallas. They could trot out the same roster next year and still have a reasonable expectation of winning a playoff series. They've also got a decent pick in the draft.

Another team I'd add to this thread is Denver. With their current configuration, they're never going to be good enough to get past the first round in the West. Carmelo is alienating his teammates. Camby and Iverson are aging. Like Dallas they're already over the cap for next season. At least they've got a draft pick this year, but next year's is gone. Nene coming back might help, but I doubt it makes a big difference.

All three of these teams are facing some pretty serious issues this summer, and it won't surprise me if all three get worse before they get better.

Oh, and just for the record, I think Denver is the best coached of all three of these teams.

AesopRockOn
04-28-2008, 05:12 PM
Who are the Suns going to give us for JO, Shaq?

Kofi
04-28-2008, 05:22 PM
Barbosa + #15 would be an interesting start. Of course they'd need salary filler.

OakMoses
04-28-2008, 05:38 PM
Who are the Suns going to give us for JO, Shaq?

I just don't see Shaq, JO, and Amare on the same roster.

As for Kofi's idea, the only salary filler they've got at that level is Diaw.

Barbosa, Diaw, and #15 for JO would be a coup for the Pacers, but I don't think Kerr's that dumb.

Kofi
04-28-2008, 05:40 PM
Diaw has negative trade value.

CableKC
04-28-2008, 05:42 PM
Diaw has negative trade value.
And JONeal doesn't?

Kofi
04-28-2008, 05:57 PM
And JONeal doesn't?

No. He's still productive and his contract is short.

Diaw had one good year and has been horrid since, and has either 3 or 4 more years remaining at around $10M per.

Oneal07
04-28-2008, 06:09 PM
I keep saying. . Dallas' team was better than before the trade. Phoenix will never be a great team IMO, They have always been a team of hype, their style was made to win in the reg. season, that's it, and I agree with your quote on D'antoni, he's average. They were stupid to trade Shawn Marion, Steve Kerr better know what's he is doin over there!!!

Anthem
04-28-2008, 06:16 PM
Barbosa, Diaw, and #15 for JO
Yowza. That would be a "heck yes."

Kofi
04-28-2008, 06:17 PM
You think our management would be willing to take on Diaw's horrible contract?

Taterhead
04-28-2008, 07:10 PM
I think Dallas would be interesting. Mostly because of Josh Howard. I think he'll be moved.

Now I don't expect him to come here, but we could come in as a 3rd team. Howard could go to a team who needs a SF... say like Portanld for instance. We could then send like #11 and a players to Dallas, and Portland would send us #13, one of their PGs.

Of course other players would have to be added for salary.
Not saying that's going to be a deal, but something along those lines would get us involved

The interesting thing to me is what if Johnson and D'Antoni get canned, then I would think they will both be in hot pursuit of Larry Brown. And that will definately affect what they are looking for in a trade.

But Dallas for sure will be looking for a half court presence since they would play more of that style. Jermaine fits that bill. And Cuban has deep enough pockets to take him on. And with Avery gone, they could also be interested in bringing Marquis back. The fans there really like him a lot, and he played very well for them at times. If anyone can take on some of our big deals, it's Mark Cuban, and his payroll is going to be down next year significantly compared to the last few years. I personally would love to have Josh Howard as our starting 2 guard next year.


On Pheonix, I agree they probably aren't an option for us. They need the exact thing we lack, perimter defenders.

Taterhead
04-28-2008, 07:14 PM
And JONeal doesn't?

I don't think he does, although it's not what it should be. Players like Jermaine are very hard to find, so teams will be much more likely to take a chance on a guy like him. All he has to do is get healthy enough to pass a physical, and teams will turn real optimistic, real fast, IMO.

Taterhead
04-28-2008, 07:34 PM
Although the Heat did get a younger player in Marion.....they didn't get anything else of value in that trade that is worth noting. I don't think that any picks were exchanged.

I think they were hoping Marion is going to opt out, which will give them almost 20 million in cap space this off-season. Think about it.....

1. Marion is 30 years old, why would he wait another year when he could land a big deal this year. He had another solid year.
2. He could get hurt or have a sub par year and lose a lot of millions in the totality of a contract. A 31 year old coming off an injury is a lot less appealing than a 30 year old coming off a solid season.
3. He's already probing them for an extension, which tells me if they don't act fast, he will definately opt out and seek a sign and trade or a deal with a team with the space.

Kofi
04-28-2008, 07:41 PM
Diaw's production...

http://img247.imageshack.us/img247/6205/diawex3.png

And his contract? 4 years, $36M, after this season. Ouch.

His trade value is every bit as negative as Troy Murphy's. He got his fat contract, now all he cares about is spending time getting tipsy at the Phoenix night clubs. They've been trying to ditch him for a few seasons now.

Of course it's not my money, so if management thinks he can be a valuable member of our team, perhaps reverting back to his 2005-2006 form, go for it.

spreedom
04-28-2008, 08:43 PM
Personally, especially after reading ":07 Or Less," I think D'Antoni is strictly a "roll the ball out there and let them have fun" coach that isn't ever going to lead a team to a championship. He doesn't demand anything out of his players. His only real coaching is "play harder than they do" and telling guys to score lots of points. There's no accountability on defense, and that's why they get wallopped by the Spurs every May.

MyFavMartin
04-28-2008, 10:00 PM
I just don't see Shaq, JO, and Amare on the same roster.

As for Kofi's idea, the only salary filler they've got at that level is Diaw.

Barbosa, Diaw, and #15 for JO would be a coup for the Pacers, but I don't think Kerr's that dumb.

Yes, yes, and yes.

spreedom
04-28-2008, 11:56 PM
I doubt Kerr would even consider something like Bell/Diaw for JO.... let alone tossing Barbosa and a decent draft pick into the deal....

Young
04-29-2008, 12:27 AM
I was thinking the same thing recently.

Where do the Mavericks go from here? The Jason Kidd trade has turned out to be awful for them. There window to win a championship is pretty much gone though IMO. I don't think that they can complain about their coach or the players. They just couldn't get it done.

Now the Suns, wow. Steve Kear, what the hell was he thinking? Ok first they trade Kurt Thomas, who I think is a better defender and rebounder then Shaq is right now, along with TWO first round picks for a second round pick. Basically they just wanted to get rid of Kurt's salary.

Now this would be ok. Except for two reasons. Number one is they need Kurt Thomas's defense and rebounding. Number two is they had to realize that the Sonics could possibly trade Kurt to a contender. Oh they did. They sent him to the Spurs. The same Spurs who are going to elminate them from the playoffs. Nice move there Phoenix.

Now what I feel makes this move even worse is the Shaq trade. They wanted to get rid of Kurt Thomas due to his salary. So they trade Shawn Marion, their best defender and a better rebounder than Shaq, plus Marcus Banks who would have been useful on Tony Parker at least for the over the hill Shaq. The same one owed 20 million a year for 14 points, 7 rebounds, and 60 games a year.

The Mavs situation will be interesting to watch. The Suns however will be painful. We will see a Sacramento Kings type re building era in Phoenix IMO. The nice part is they probably gave the Sonics a lottery pick in 2010.

count55
04-29-2008, 08:30 AM
I just don't see Shaq, JO, and Amare on the same roster.

As for Kofi's idea, the only salary filler they've got at that level is Diaw.

Barbosa, Diaw, and #15 for JO would be a coup for the Pacers, but I don't think Kerr's that dumb.


I don't think it would be quite the coup for the Pacers that you think, and I'm not sure that Kerr would need to be quite as dumb as you think.

First, the Kerr part: At this point in time, he's either going to blow it up completely, or accelerate the "win now" philosophy. Considering that his franchise's success is largely based on an aging Steve Nash, he's more likely to put his foot on the pedal.

It may be repeating the risk that burned him this year, but his thought process may be that he'd be dealing a couple of role players (Barbosa, Diaw) and a middling pick to try to get that interior defense that he'd hoped for with the other O'Neal. In addition to that, he'd be putting himself in a position to clear almost $44mm in salaries (between the O'Neal's) the summer that LeBron and Dwyane come on the market. You think LeBron and Amare would make a nice 1-2 punch? It would ultimately depend on (a) how much he trusts JO's ability to recover and (b) how much he's focusing on SA as his roadblock in the short-term.

From the Pacers side, this would probably be the most in name value that they could get, but there's a lot of risk to it. First, we'd be taking back more than $19 million more dollars in total contracts, including $16mm more in 10-11 and $17mm more in 11-12. (We'd conceivably take less this year and next, though Phoenix would have to come up with another roughly $2.5mm in salaries to make this deal work under the cap.) We'd basically be tying our long term finances to an undersized 2 (Barbosa), a utility-type player (Diaw), and a middling draft pick (#15). My concern with the two guys is whether they can be primary players on a winning team...one where there is no Steve Nash and Amare Stoudemire to deflect attention from them.

Granted, beggars can't be choosers, and when it comes to JO at this point, we're beggars. I can see how on paper this would be about as good of a deal that the Pacers could get. However, I'm just saying that I could see this deal very easily being a bust for us (in the one-in-a-million chance that it would occur), and working out relatively nicely for Phoenix (through either a productive JO or the freedom to get LeBron in the future).

Unclebuck
04-29-2008, 08:32 AM
Personally, especially after reading ":07 Or Less," I think D'Antoni is strictly a "roll the ball out there and let them have fun" coach that isn't ever going to lead a team to a championship. He doesn't demand anything out of his players. His only real coaching is "play harder than they do" and telling guys to score lots of points. There's no accountability on defense, and that's why they get wallopped by the Spurs every May.

You are 100% correct

Fool
04-29-2008, 10:00 AM
You think our management would be willing to take on Diaw's horrible contract?

That's hilarious. Simply hilarious.

clownskull
04-29-2008, 10:09 AM
i gotta agree with the guy who also wanted to add denver in this list. i think they tried to make a big push with the iverson thing last year and even with a full year together, i think we have seen that they are not going to get it done-ever. they can't make it out of the 1st round. with melo and ai, they have two prolific 1on1 scorers but, there isn't a team out there. these guys put up their numbers but don't make their team any better.
iverson is getting up there in age and is going to slow down pretty quickly anytime now and when his quickness is gone, his usefulness will be gone too since he is an undersized player.

dallas found out that kidd is no longer a lockdown defender as he has been getting burned with regularity by paul. granted, he hasn't been with the mavs long enough to make his passing game as helpful as possible but, i gotta think one of the reasons they brought him back was for his defense as well as his other attributes and it simply ain't what it used to be.

shaq is only going to get slower and heavier from here on out and he is already pretty slow and heavy. his numbers will continue to drop.

Kofi
04-29-2008, 10:31 AM
That's hilarious. Simply hilarious.

?

The idea of a lazy, unproductive guy making $9M a year for 4 more years is hilarious? Only if he's not on your team, I suppose.

Fool
04-29-2008, 12:24 PM
That you would wonder if the Pacers would swallow a bad contract.

Naptown_Seth
04-29-2008, 12:40 PM
I've never believed that D'Antoni is a really good coach. Great offensive coach, but defensively he doesn't seem to emphasize it like he should. Overall I think he lets the players do whatever they want - he's lucky to have had Nash keep the team together.
I want to emphasize this because a few years ago he was one name that people around here considered much better than Rick. He was the reference point for "I wish they played like that".

This led to some interest here in getting Iavaroni, but he flopped massively in Memphis.

At the time, partially in Rick's defense and partially in Nash for MVP debates I noted that D'Antoni stunk the year before Nash got there. He had Amare, he had Marion, and both of them put up good seasons. But everyone focused on what PHX became when Nash got there and attributed a lot of it to Mike D.

The thing I worry most about is this - with the winning by Dallas, PHX and upstart Golden State everyone in Pacersland (and the NBA in general) flipped out in trying to be the next one in that mold. Along with those 3 you can add Denver into the "we love offense" group. How are these 4 teams looking at this point?

The unfortunate corollary to this is "how did it work out for the Pacers the last 2 years"?

Maybe chasing the latest fad isn't the best way to build a franchise. Maybe you should look to set the next fad yourself instead.


The interesting thing to me is what if Johnson and D'Antoni get canned, then I would think they will both be in hot pursuit of Larry Brown
Too late. :)

Naptown_Seth
04-29-2008, 12:49 PM
A very good point guard does not give up 40 points to Anthony Johnson.
Hey! I think I just realized that I might be a very good point guard.

A) Are you under 6 feet tall?
Check

B) Can you dribble a ball?
Check

C) Have you avoided letting AJ toast you for 40 points?
Check


[Colbert hand grab]
I DID IT!
Where's my money please.
[/CHG]

rexnom
04-29-2008, 01:46 PM
Hey! I think I just realized that I might be a very good point guard.

A) Are you under 6 feet tall?
Check

B) Can you dribble a ball?
Check

C) Have you avoided letting AJ toast you for 40 points?
Check


[Colbert hand grab]
I DID IT!
Where's my money please.
[/CHG]
Nap making that final push for the "most argumentative poster" award...

CableKC
04-29-2008, 03:09 PM
No. He's still productive and his contract is short.

Diaw had one good year and has been horrid since, and has either 3 or 4 more years remaining at around $10M per.
I will respectfully agree to disagree. When JONeal plays, yes....he can be productive....the problem is that he has to be on the court in order to produce. I think that the 2007-2008 season that JONeal had ( playing only 42 games ) and the fact that he was limited ( for one reason or another ) to 20 minutes when he did return further solidifies his "injury prone" label and further lowers his trade value.

At best....his trade value is no worse then what it was at the beginning of the season....but realistically.....this season only lowers whatever trade value he has.

The problem with doing a "straight-up" JONeal for Barbosa/Diaw/#15 deal is that we have to take in about $20 mil in guaranteed contracts ( both Diaw and Barbosa are owed a total of $64 mil compared to $44 mil owed ONLY to JONeal ).

I would consider a Barbosa/Diaw deal for JONeal while including $20mil of Pacer filler....but I doubt the Suns would.

rexnom
04-29-2008, 03:12 PM
Barbosa/Diaw/#15 for JO kinda makes sense.

But why would the Suns have JO, Amare and Shaq?

CableKC
04-29-2008, 03:17 PM
Personally, especially after reading ":07 Or Less," I think D'Antoni is strictly a "roll the ball out there and let them have fun" coach that isn't ever going to lead a team to a championship. He doesn't demand anything out of his players. His only real coaching is "play harder than they do" and telling guys to score lots of points. There's no accountability on defense, and that's why they get wallopped by the Spurs every May.
To play devil's advocate....are the Pacers any different?

I am sure that JO'B wants them to play defense and tries to enforce some semblance of defense from the players....but we easily have the worst defense in the league.

Is demanding no defense from Players any different then demanding that your team plays defense that still allows the opposing team to score an average 105 points on your team?

In the end, the result is the same......opposing teams still score at will against the Suns or Pacers.

Since86
04-29-2008, 03:28 PM
To play devil's advocate....are the Pacers any different?

I am sure that JO'B wants them to play defense and tries to enforce some semblance of defense from the players....but we easily have the worst defense in the league.

Is demanding no defense from Players any different then demanding that your team plays defense that still allows the opposing team to score an average 105 points on your team?

In the end, the result is the same......opposing teams still score at will against the Suns or Pacers.

Nope. Both teams give up 105pts/game. Suns opponent fg% is 45.6% compared to the Pacers at 45.4%.

The rest of the stats are pretty similiar as well.

While the Suns play a faster tempo and try for layups, the Pacers try to play faster and shoot 3s. The Pacers took about 500 more threes over the course of the season, than their opponents. So much for trying to get them to shoot from outside.

count55
04-29-2008, 04:04 PM
To play devil's advocate....are the Pacers any different?

I am sure that JO'B wants them to play defense and tries to enforce some semblance of defense from the players....but we easily have the worst defense in the league.

Is demanding no defense from Players any different then demanding that your team plays defense that still allows the opposing team to score an average 105 points on your team?

In the end, the result is the same......opposing teams still score at will against the Suns or Pacers.

It may seem like we have the worst defense in the league, but statistically, according to BBR.com (http://http://www.basketball-reference.com/leagues/NBA_2008.html), we (along with Phoenix) are middle of the pack.

Our defensive rating (points given up per 100 possessions) is 107.5, which ranks 15th and is dead on the league average. (Phoenix is 108.1 and 16th.)

Our FG% allowed is 10th best in the league, and our opponents TO's were 5th highest in the league. Of course, these are somewhat neutralized by the fact that our own TO's were fifth highest in the league, and that we were 2nd in Opponent's FT Attempts and 1st in Opponent FT's made.

While I'm not overly fond of either Phoenix's or JOB's system, and I'm certainly not arguing that our defense is anywhere near good enough, I think that it's not even arguably the worst in the league, let alone easily the worst in the league.

You may consider this a case of "lies, damn lies, and statistics", that just watching the game tells you differently. However, as bad as our defense was at times, I have no problem thinking back on games I watched involving the Bucks, T-Wolves, Knicks, Griz, Heat, and Hawks and thinking my eyes told me that those teams had worse defenses than we did.

BTW...it bears mentioning that only the Hawks and the Wiz had a worse defensive rating than us and still made the playoffs, while only the 14th place Bulls were better than us and missed the playoffs.

In fact, I think the statistics indict JOB's offensive performance more than the defense. We were only 20th in the league at 106.0, below the league average of 107.5.

(Edit: The proposition that we are very similar, at least defensively, to the Suns is pretty sound, based on statistical performance.)

D-BONE
04-29-2008, 07:18 PM
RE: Mavs and Suns era in West is over.

I understand what you mean. However, technically their era never got off the ground. The San Antonio Spurs WC (and leaguewide) era is actually not yet expired. Four titles since 1999 to one Mavs finals appearance and none for Phoenix since Barkley's tenure.

So while yes their run as 50-60 wins WC teams is waning, whether they ever really mertied an era named for them is debatable.

count55
04-29-2008, 07:23 PM
RE: Mavs and Suns era in West is over.

I understand what you mean. However, technically their era never got off the ground. The San Antonio Spurs WC (and leaguewide) era is actually not yet expired. Four titles since 1999 to one Mavs finals appearance and none for Phoenix since Barkley's tenure.

So while yes their run as 50-60 wins WC teams is waning, whether they ever really mertied an era named for them is debatable.

That thought struck me as well from the Thread title, but I think UB was going for was the only "window of opportunity is closing" saw.

Unclebuck
04-30-2008, 08:24 AM
Interesting ESPN article about the Mavs and Avery

Wednesday, April 30, 2008
All signs point to changes ahead for Mavs

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
By Marc Stein
ESPN.com


Chris Paul and Byron Scott have the Hornets headed in the right direction.


NEW ORLEANS -- It ultimately played out as a five-point game featuring a scrappy Dallas comeback and real, live crunch time. That's all true.

Yet you never really had a doubt how Tuesday's tale of two coaches was going to climax.

For Byron Scott? His morning appointment was a Coach of the Year press conference and his night was capped with the sweet sight of Chris Paul's first playoff triple-double ushering his ex Jason Kidd into summer vacation. Which can only equate to all-day, buzzer-to-buzzer bliss.

For Avery Johnson?

The Lil' General had to leave his hometown wondering if this 99-94 defeat, wrapping up a 4-1 series rout for Scott's New Orleans Hornets, was an elimination game in the most literal sense.

"This is tough for me," Johnson conceded afterward, not specifically responding to a question about his job security but struggling to contain his disappointment after the Dallas Mavericks' second straight flameout in the first round.

"Obviously this is where I was born and raised."

It would defy weeks of ominous signals if N'awlins didn't also wind up as the backdrop for Johnson's last game on the Mavericks' bench. ESPN.com reported after Dallas' victory over New Orleans in the regular-season finale April 16 (Daily Dime) that Avery's job would be thrust into serious peril if the Mavs did not at least find a way out of the first round. Sources close to the situation have since disclosed that Mavericks owner Mark Cuban actually considered dismissing Johnson before the playoffs, specifically after Cuban and Johnson engaged in an emotional argument after a March 18 home loss to the Lakers.

Cuban uncharacteristically refused to speak with reporters after the defeat -- Dallas' ninth playoff loss in a row on the road since taking a 2-0 lead in the 2006 NBA Finals -- undoubtedly knowing what sort of questions were coming. But Johnson was fielding queries about his future as early as the morning shootaround, letting out an unmistakable pause when asked if he fears that his job is in jeopardy.

Johnson then said: "I would hope not. I love what I'm doing and I love the team. Right now I'm just focusing on coming out and trying to get this team to play as best as we can. And then whatever happens tomorrow, then we'll have to manage that part of it."

If anything gives Johnson hope of hanging on after falling to 3-12 in the playoffs since the Mavericks' unraveling in the Finals against Miami, it's that there's no clear-cut candidate to replace him. Rick Carlisle and Jeff Van Gundy will undeniably be names of interest, but the partnership of Dirk Nowitzki and Kidd would seemingly demand an offensive specialist to maximize their potential as a tandem. The Mavericks, according to sources, would have definite interest in Mike D'Antoni or Flip Saunders if either is made available, but can they bank on either one?



There's also a chance, sources say, that Johnson might even be amenable to a mutual parting, given the likelihood that he would almost certainly become a candidate for openings in New York and Chicago. Sources say that the Bulls, anticipating Johnson's exit, have already had internal discussions about the possibility of hiring him. What we know for sure is that the last 48 hours of the Mavericks' season were among the most chaotic of Johnson's tenure ... and none of it connected to how Kidd fits in his offense. Sources say Johnson's well-chronicled cancellation of Monday's practice was an angry response to discovering that Josh Howard did not cancel a birthday party previously scheduled in his honor at a Dallas night club Sunday night after the Mavs' heavy Game 4 defeat.

In-house frustration with Howard was already at its limit, courtesy of the former All-Star's miserable shooting in this series (which continued in Game 5 with a 2-for-10 finish after a 4-for-4 start) and multiple interviews Howard granted -- one of them hours before Game 3 -- detailing his offseason marijuana use. So you can understand why an exasperated Johnson, also apparently convinced that Howard was not the only Mav out on the town after such a damaging loss, kicked the whole team out of the gym. The team then responded with a players-only meeting and a players-only practice, which their coach applauded at the morning shootaround.

"We had some of our leaders step up, which I've always wanted," Johnson said.

But Johnson also hinted at the depth of his discontent, prefacing his compliment by saying: "We came in [Monday] with the intention to practice. And then something changed."

So ...


Johnson failed to get the Mavs out of the first round for the second straight season.
Clearly not the smoothest preparations for a team in a 3-1 hole. Especially when various elements of the Hornets' series-long dominance didn't change at all, ranging from Jannero Pargo's scorching shooting off the bench (16 points on 7-for-9 accuracy) to David West's indiscriminant ability to punish defenders big (Erick Dampier) and small (Brandon Bass) and most of all Paul's brilliance (24 points, 15 assists, 11 rebounds and zero turnovers) in a performance Johnson likened to "a young Nate Archibald."

The Hornets' dynamo had 11 of his 15 assists by halftime, which was fitting on a night he became just the fifth player in NBA history -- joining Oscar Robertson, Magic Johnson, Isiah Thomas and Kevin Johnson -- to average better than 11 assists in his first playoff series. He also emerged from a second-quarter, double-technical tangle with Dallas' Jerry Stackhouse with a 3-point dagger to spark a 17-3 run that broke open a four-point game.

New Orleans never trailed and its lead reached 15 points by halftime, but Johnson can take a sliver of solace from the second-half fightback. When even Mavs loyalists had to be expecting a surrender, Dallas sliced the deficit to 63-57 and had a chance to get even closer when Nowitzki sullied his own triple-double bid (22 points, 13 rebounds and six assists) by missing two near-automatic looks by his standards. The Mavs then rallied again in the fourth quarter -- which began with Jason Terry defiantly marching into a Hornets huddle before the period began to proclaim that the visitors were not ready for their season to end -- by somehow slicing a 17-point lead to three in the final minute.

Enter Paul for the dagger rebound. The Mavs would have had a shot to force overtime had they been able to track down Paul's errant jumper, but the MVP candidate was credited with his 10th board when Tyson Chandler batted the ball out of the key and into Paul's arms.

Yet it's been evident to anyone spending any time around this team that the Dallas rally was an aberration. Johnson's successes in Big D are sizable and historic, as the only coach in franchise annals to win a Game 7 in San Antonio, take them to the Finals and post a 67-win season while also picking up a COY trophy of his own in 2006. But belief, unity, joy and focus have been scarce commodities for the Mavs ever since they beat these Hornets at home in their regular-season finale to avoid a first-round meeting with Kobe Bryant's Lakers.

This is the one loss in the series in which they didn't go down meekly. That's not all Johnson's fault -- you certainly can't blame him for Howard's sudden and steep decline -- but his relationship with the owner and his ability to reach these players in his famously demanding, hands-on manner has clearly deteriorated. It also didn't help that Johnson didn't start Terry until Game 3, even when the Mavs needed to be as small and quick as possible to keep up with the Hornets, and so rarely put Kidd in post-up situations against Paul to help his point guard when Dallas couldn't run. Factor in all the longstanding doubts about Kidd operating in Johnson's grinding halfcourt sets and the limited flexibility post-trade that the Mavs have to tweak the roster further and you can see why a coaching change is regarded throughout the league as an inevitability.

"We've had a great run with this group," Stackhouse said. "But when you lose in the first round two years in a row, you expect some changes. We're all hired to be fired at some point, from the greatest [Michael Jordan] to Harold Miner. They all see the end.

"We'll wait and see what the boss [wants to] do. No matter what happens or what changes are made, it's been a great situation for me the last four years. It's been a great situation for Avery for the last four years, [for Jason Terry] coming out of Atlanta. For the last four years, it's been a great situation for everybody that's involved. So if this is the end or whatever, you can't do nothing but say we had our chance. Had our opportunity."



Marc Stein is the senior NBA writer for ESPN.com. To e-mail him, click here.

http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/playoffs2008/columns/story?columnist=stein_marc&page=MavsHornetsGame5-080430

Unclebuck
04-30-2008, 08:26 AM
here is one on the Suns

Updated: April 30, 4:53 AM ET
D'Antoni, Suns might part ways after first-round loss

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
ESPN.com news services

Despite averaging 58 regular-season wins in the last four seasons, Mike D'Antoni might be out as Phoenix Suns coach.

An SI.com report on Tuesday night said that the coach will not return after his team was eliminated 4-1 by the San Antonio Spurs in the first round of the playoffs.


The Arizona Republic did not go as far, saying it was unlikely that the coach would be fired with two years and $8.5 million left on his contract. But the newspaper confirmed part of a recent Sports Illustrated article which chronicled a confrontation between D'Antoni and general manager Steve Kerr.

In a November conversation, Kerr reportedly suggested that the Suns run more post-up plays for forward Amare Stoudemire. D'Antoni objected, with a shouting match ending in the coach telling the GM not to tell him "how to coach offense."

That jibes with Tuesday's SI.com report which cites sources within the organization saying that D'Antoni does not feel he has the support of owner Robert Sarver or Kerr, who took over as GM in June.

While the Web site did not say that D'Antoni's firing is imminent, it did speculate that he would not be discouraged from pursuing opportunities with the Chicago Bulls or New York Knicks, among other teams.

D'Antoni wouldn't be the only successful coach on the hot seat this season. Immediately after the Dallas Mavericks were eliminated from the playoffs on Tuesday, Avery Johnson's status appeared to be in limbo. ESPN.com's Marc Stein recently reported that his job would be in serious jeopardy if he did not make it out of the first round.

Having been eliminated by Tim Duncan and the Spurs in three of their last four playoff appearances heading into this season, Phoenix made a bold move to take the next step in February. The Suns sent four-time All-Star forward Shawn Marion and guard Marcus Banks to the Miami Heat for Shaquille O'Neal, hoping the former MVP would provide the inside presence the team had lacked.

Phoenix sported a 37-17 record when O'Neal first took the court for the Suns and finished out the season at a little slower pace, ending at 55-27.

O'Neal did average 15.2 point and 9.2 rebounds against the Spurs, but his poor free-throw shooting cost Phoenix in the series. San Antonio's Hack-a-Shaq philosophy resulted in the big man going to the line a whopping 20 times in Game 5 alone, but he hit only nine in the 92-87 loss. He shot 50 percent from the line (32-of-64) in the series.

D'Antoni has a 267-172 record in six seasons as an NBA coach. He is credited with helping to revive the running game in the league at a time when scores were plummeting amid pedestrian half-court offenses.

Failing to blend his philosophy with a new general manager in Kerr, who then brought in O'Neal, might ultimately be what puts the brakes on this Suns era.

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/print?id=3374706&type=story

Mourning
04-30-2008, 08:39 AM
Bringing in Shaq was really stupid. Couldn't believe it when I first read it.

Putnam
04-30-2008, 08:47 AM
It may seem like we have the worst defense in the league, but statistically, according to BBR.com (http://http://www.basketball-reference.com/leagues/NBA_2008.html), we (along with Phoenix) are middle of the pack.

Our defensive rating (points given up per 100 possessions) is 107.5, which ranks 15th and is dead on the league average. (Phoenix is 108.1 and 16th.)

Our FG% allowed is 10th best in the league, and our opponents TO's were 5th highest in the league. Of course, these are somewhat neutralized by the fact that our own TO's were fifth highest in the league, and that we were 2nd in Opponent's FT Attempts and 1st in Opponent FT's made.

While I'm not overly fond of either Phoenix's or JOB's system, and I'm certainly not arguing that our defense is anywhere near good enough, I think that it's not even arguably the worst in the league, let alone easily the worst in the league.

Really good stuff, here, count55.

Going from Can't to Can is often just a few steps, and you've shown us that the Pacers defense, thought it failed consistently, wasn't altogether inept.

Cut back on the fouls and stop penetration more often -- while maintaining the tempo -- and O'Brien's Pacers could win 46 games.

Unclebuck
04-30-2008, 08:53 AM
Actually the Pacers defensive system is very similar to the Celtics defensive system. The Pacers system most resembles the Celtics. And the Celts lead the NBA in defense this past season. So once again I'll say I don't think there is anything wrong with the Pacers defensive system. Pacers didn't have the players who either understood how to play it or just didn't believe in it or maybe even more likely the players for whatever reason just didn't play the system hard enough.

bread
04-30-2008, 08:56 AM
Cut back on the fouls and stop penetration more often

These go hand-in-hand really. If you can stop penetration, the opponent can't attack the basket and draw as many fouls. That is why it is essential that we get some players that can guard on the perimeter. It will also create more turnovers which would lead to easier baskets on the other end. It's a domino effect of sorts.

owl
04-30-2008, 09:01 AM
I sure hope the Pacers are looking to improve their defense. If Phoenix can't win with
an offensive style I seriously doubt the Pacers can pull it off.

Naptown_Seth
04-30-2008, 09:58 AM
Count - what you are getting at with those numbers is that the team didn't have the skill to play the kind of defense they were being asked to play, thus the fouls. Sure you limited shooting fairly well, but the foul cost was really high, enough to cost games.

But as I said elsewhere a few days ago, it's JOBs offense that bugs me way more than the defense. The offense doesn't respect it's own defensive efforts to get possession.

"Hey, I made a great block to keep us in it down by 2, let me chuck that for a contested 3 ASAP." And now you're back on defense all over again with nothing gained from the last effort.

Better defensive speed and better off the ball offense would help quite a bit. Not sure if the first one can be fixed quickly, not sure if JOB is interested in fixing the 2nd at all.

sweabs
04-30-2008, 10:12 AM
Bringing in Shaq was really stupid. Couldn't believe it when I first read it.
Yep. There were so many people hopping on the bandwagon at the time, making claims that "it would work", and it was a "brilliant move." But when you stop trying to over-analyze the move (which so many people did), and look at it from face-value - it sucks. How was it ever supposed to work?

Perhaps I'm jumping the gun, and "piling on" as a result of their first round exit. But I've felt this way from the start, and I don't think it will miraculously change next year; particularly if Mike D'Antoni is still the head coach. He is not the right guy for a team that features Shaq clogging up the middle. It almost goes against everything he stands for in an offense.

Sure, I understand that Shaq was brought into Phoenix for his defensive prowess (which is in a constant state of decline, as he struggles to jump 1 inch off the floor). However, you need your coach to reinforce defense for that to work. There has to be an emphasis on playing defense from your coach, and your leader (Steve Nash). Neither of them have ever really prided themselves in this particular facet of the game.

Did it really come to anyone's surprise that Phoenix made a lot of their runs during periods where Shaq was sitting on the bench? That's because it's how the majority of those guys (coaches included) are comfortable playing. It suits their style of game.

count55
04-30-2008, 10:37 AM
Count - what you are getting at with those numbers is that the team didn't have the skill to play the kind of defense they were being asked to play, thus the fouls. Sure you limited shooting fairly well, but the foul cost was really high, enough to cost games.

But as I said elsewhere a few days ago, it's JOBs offense that bugs me way more than the defense. The offense doesn't respect it's own defensive efforts to get possession.

"Hey, I made a great block to keep us in it down by 2, let me chuck that for a contested 3 ASAP." And now you're back on defense all over again with nothing gained from the last effort.

Better defensive speed and better off the ball offense would help quite a bit. Not sure if the first one can be fixed quickly, not sure if JOB is interested in fixing the 2nd at all.

I wasn't all the way there, but I was sniffing around it with my comment about the offense only being 20th. I happened to be looking at the Pacer page on Basketball-Reference.com (coolest stat site, ever), and noticed the Offensive and Defensive Ratings and where the Pacers ranked.

It jumped out at me because I think the intuitive belief was that there was nothing wrong (production wise) with the offense, but the defense was horrible. However, it's beginning to look to me that the offense could have been further behind than the defense.

Mourning
04-30-2008, 10:40 AM
I never believed that bringing in Shaq into a fast paced style of play would work, because the guy is just not very fast and mobile. Marion was great for the Suns. Gave them an enormous amount of flexibility to play with line ups and was good both defensively aswell as offensively.

IF they wanted to make a change they should have gone for a PF or Center who was younger and more mobile. Maybe someone like Brand or Rasheed would have been better (not that the Clippers would have been stupid enough to make that move though and the same for the Pistons)

Kofi
04-30-2008, 10:52 AM
I find it hilarious how, less than a year ago, Pacer fans were parading over the fact that the Lakers were in such bad shape. Now here we are, and the Lakers are not only the best team in the league, their move to pick up Gasol probably led to the early demise of both the Suns and the Mavs.

Anyways, it looks like both D'Antoni and Avery Johnson will be gone in a matter of weeks, if not days.

Let the desperation (i.e.; J.O. bids) begin!

Naptown_Seth
04-30-2008, 04:45 PM
Nap making that final push for the "most argumentative poster" award...
WTF? This was my first bid for next year's Most Humorous. I wasn't arguing with Grace's point at all, just having fun with the thought. I guess my rep has people seeing argumentative sarcasm where it wasn't intended.

I guess I need to count on plan B, that the Pacers draft some obscure Euro who I can then pretend to be in a pseudo account.

"Stefano, he likes to shoot, no. Everyone say to me, Stefano, you shoot the ball so good, you should shooting each time. But I say no, Stefano no ball hog, Stefano know that Pope no respect ball hogs and Stefano good Italian boy that make mama proud."

[/end offensive derail]

Naptown_Seth
04-30-2008, 04:47 PM
I wasn't all the way there, but I was sniffing around it with my comment about the offense only being 20th. I happened to be looking at the Pacer page on Basketball-Reference.com (coolest stat site, ever), and noticed the Offensive and Defensive Ratings and where the Pacers ranked.

It jumped out at me because I think the intuitive belief was that there was nothing wrong (production wise) with the offense, but the defense was horrible. However, it's beginning to look to me that the offense could have been further behind than the defense.
You sponser that page don't you, or Danny's page? I know I saw a Count55 over there as a sponser.

CableKC
04-30-2008, 05:08 PM
Actually the Pacers defensive system is very similar to the Celtics defensive system. The Pacers system most resembles the Celtics. And the Celts lead the NBA in defense this past season. So once again I'll say I don't think there is anything wrong with the Pacers defensive system. Pacers didn't have the players who either understood how to play it or just didn't believe in it or maybe even more likely the players for whatever reason just didn't play the system hard enough.
I'm not disagreeing with you...only because I have no clue what type of defensive system that the Celtics use......but doesn't the tempo of the offense ( sometimes ) dictate how the defense is run?

Maybe I misunderstand what you are posting ( which is entirely possible ), but the Pacers play at a much higher tempo offensive game whereas the Celtics easily ( correct me if I am wrong ) has a slower tempo on the offensive end. The Celtics are dead last in FGA this season while the Pacers are in the top 4 in FGA. Unfortunately, the more shots that we take the greater the chance that the opposing teams follows suit and does the same to us.

It just seems like there is a huge gulf of difference between what the Celtics do on the defensive end compared to what the Pacers do. Based off of your assumptions that we have a similiar Defensive system to the Celtics ( arguably one of the best defensive teams in the league in the 2007-2008 season ), what would we need to do to even remotely duplicate their success?

Slow the tempo? Get better defensive minded players? Get players that have a higher Basketball IQ?

count55
04-30-2008, 07:31 PM
You sponser that page don't you, or Danny's page? I know I saw a Count55 over there as a sponser.

Yeah, Danny's page...it was like $15 a year. I sponsored it along with fantasy ballin' (Andrew Perna's site) (http://www.fantasyballin.com) because (a) I love the site, and (b) as a favor for Andrew, who's a fellow mod on RealGM with me. I wanted to sponsor Reggie's page, but it was over $100.

rexnom
04-30-2008, 07:54 PM
WTF? This was my first bid for next year's Most Humorous. I wasn't arguing with Grace's point at all, just having fun with the thought. I guess my rep has people seeing argumentative sarcasm where it wasn't intended.

I guess I need to count on plan B, that the Pacers draft some obscure Euro who I can then pretend to be in a pseudo account.

"Stefano, he likes to shoot, no. Everyone say to me, Stefano, you shoot the ball so good, you should shooting each time. But I say no, Stefano no ball hog, Stefano know that Pope no respect ball hogs and Stefano good Italian boy that make mama proud."

[/end offensive derail]
Haha, sry about that there Nap, it was a total tongue-in-cheek comment. I meant no offense...unlike your fantastic rant. I'm pulling for us to draft Batum just so that you'll create that pseudo account...

madison
04-30-2008, 08:05 PM
I beg to differ with the notion that the Pacer's defensive 'system' resembles the Celtics. Saying it does presumes the Pacers have a 'system' which they don't. I don't call leaving the rim unguarded a system. I don't call playing soft a system. I don't call journeyman players having career nights against the Pacers night-after-night a system. I don't call leaving the offensive glass to one player (Foster) very supportive of playing defense at the other end -- too many easy transition baskets against the Pacers. I don't call virtually never pressuring the ball in the back court a defensive system. The Pistons have a system. The Spurs have a system. Even LA has a system. But, not the Pacers. JOB is a total failure as a defensive coach. I can hardly stand to watch the Pacers play defense in the 4th Qtr when the game is on the line. So, let's agree that our defense looks more like Dallas or Phoenix, not Boston.

Infinite MAN_force
04-30-2008, 08:30 PM
I'm not disagreeing with you...only because I have no clue what type of defensive system that the Celtics use......but doesn't the tempo of the offense ( sometimes ) dictate how the defense is run?

Maybe I misunderstand what you are posting ( which is entirely possible ), but the Pacers play at a much higher tempo offensive game whereas the Celtics easily ( correct me if I am wrong ) has a slower tempo on the offensive end. The Celtics are dead last in FGA this season while the Pacers are in the top 4 in FGA. Unfortunately, the more shots that we take the greater the chance that the opposing teams follows suit and does the same to us.

It just seems like there is a huge gulf of difference between what the Celtics do on the defensive end compared to what the Pacers do. Based off of your assumptions that we have a similiar Defensive system to the Celtics ( arguably one of the best defensive teams in the league in the 2007-2008 season ), what would we need to do to even remotely duplicate their success?

Slow the tempo? Get better defensive minded players? Get players that have a higher Basketball IQ?


what someone posted earlier actually makes perfect sense. I think if we could just stop the easy penetration from the other teams perimeter players, It would solve the entire problem with the defense. The foul shots absolutley killed us every single game, #1 in the league in opponent FTM. And the alternative to that was easy layups. we need two things...

Tough defensive minded PG...
Shot blocking presence.

Without Jermaine, we have no shotblocking presence... Foster and Murphy certainly dont fit the bill. And every single point gaurd on our roster was a defensive liabilty except owens who didn't belong out there anyway.

Addressing those two issues could possibly shoot our defensive rank up into the top 10.

Those trashing JOB's defensive system (or supposed "lack there of") forget that he took a celtics team with only Paul Pierce, Fatoine, and various scrubs to the ECF with that same system. He has made it work in the past, its fairly proven. The problem here is the ROSTER. And arguably the offense, though again having some penetrators could help here as well.