When Phil Jackson was hired in 2014 to be president of basketball operations for the Knicks he has been persistent about one thing since day one, running the triangle offense. A move not many were a fan of since it hadn't been run since his time in LA, and it was becoming an outdated system. Regardless, Phil Jackson wanted the Knicks to run the triangle offense, so he acquired Jose Calderon because they didn't need a real PG in that system, and he thought the magic would work just like that. It didn't, Phil fired Derek Fisher after a year and a half of no improvement, realistically Fisher just wasn't being the puppet that Phil wanted him to be, so he fired him. The rest of the 2015-16 season was a waste with Rambis as coach, clearly proving in a short amount of time as interim head coach that he's completely incompetent. Then, after the season they moved on from Rambis and hired Jeff Hornachek. A hiring I really liked at the time since what he did in phoenix with so little talent was very impressive. What I failed to take into account was Jackson's ability to strip down everything a coach does. Phil demanded some form of the triangle be run, even though he went against his PG theory by trading for D-Rose, and this season has ended up being another huge failure. In 3 seasons the Knicks have not been able to establish the triangle offense whatsoever, they don't have the right personnel to run the triangle offense, and yet all I continue to hear about is this triangle offense.
Well, today Larry Brown, former Knicks head coach, said if Phil wants the Knicks to run the triangle offense so badly then he should be the one coaching. Larry I completely agree with you, if Phil wants to run his perfect little triangle offense then get your ass down to the court and teach it yourself. At the very least Phil should be at practice showing them how it's done or something, how can you expect Hornachek, who has never used the triangle offense in his coaching career, to teach the system to players without the expertise knowledge of it that Phil has. Phil doesn't want to do that though, so give up on the triangle Phil, do what's best for the Knicks future keep drafting good players, and don't screw anything else up, leave when your contract is up, and let the young core you drafted be the legacy you had with the Knicks. That'll be the narrative, yeah Phil was a pain in the ass most of his time in New York, but he drafted most of our young core that is building towards winning a championship. Porzingis and Hernangomez are the Knicks front court of the future, if Phil can draft a solid guard for the future with the Knicks upcoming lottery pick, just like that he put together 3/5th of the Knicks future starting lineup.
The worst part about it is Phil hasn't even done his part by putting together the right personnel for the triangle, and there's too much roster turnover each year to keep the main core of guys used to playing in that system. For such a complicated system like the triangle it takes tons of time, trials, and tribulations to get accustomed to it, it doesn't just happen overnight. Patience is something New Yorkers don't have, so why try to run a system that takes a lot of patience before you start seeing results. Phil clearly listens to what the fans want, why do you think he brought in Rose, Noah, Lee, and Jennings because the fans wanted some splashes, and that's exactly what he gave you. Every Knicks fan was excited about this year, until they realized all the players that were signed were all way past their primes. Phil has been all over the place as an executive, only way his plan would've worked is if he stayed consistent about it, and helped implement the triangle offense himself. He did neither of those things and then wonders why the Knicks franchise is perishing.
Process buffering, Joel Embiid is to undergo an MRI on his knee to see why it's continuing to give him major issues. Embiid has missed 16 of the last 17 games anyways so no immediate impact on the Sixers play right now, although I'm sure Sixer fans would be much happier knowing he's healthy and contributing. As much as I like Joel Embiid for being a funny, easy going guy, if this trend continues his career in the NBA will be a very short one. He has already missed two full seasons due to injury and this season has been more of the same. Even in very limited minutes Embiid found a way to get injured and miss the rest of the season.
If you're a Sixers fan prepare for the worst, prepare to hear his knee is destroyed when they get the results back from the MRI, sadly that'll probably be the reality of the situation. I'm not going to sugar coat it, Embiid is turning into Greg Oden, helluva player when he can stay healthy, but could never stay healthy for a long enough stretch to make a real impact. Hate to be the bearer of bad news, but Sixers fans you can't count on Embiid to be your future. With his current injury and his past history with injuries how can you expect to build around a guy who can't stay on the floor for more than 25 minutes without getting hurt.
I really hope I'm wrong, usually when a player goes into a MRI after weeks of the ailment not getting better nothing but bad news follows. First Simmons is done for the year and now likely Embiid, the only young player that stays healthy on this team is Jahlil Okafor and the front office hates him. Sixers may of thought they had all the right pieces in play now to start building towards a success future, and now Embiid's health is fucking it all up. Can't say I necessarily feel bad for Philly fans because they aren't the kindest ofolks, however this has been a very shitty situation for them, so try to understand why they're so pissed off all the time. For now the process is buffering, the Sixers future as a franchise is beginning to look more bleak, and there's no end in sight.
Kyle Lowry is going to miss the final month and half left in the regular season as he undergoes wrist surgery. Now would be an acceptable time for Raptors fans to start freaking out. Raptors made a big trade deadline splash to acquire Serge Ibaka to help them compete for runner up in the east, they also traded for P.J. Tucker specifically to guard Lebron in the eastern conference finals. Toronto was all in on this season and one bump in the road is about to wreck the entire season.
Lowry should be back for the postseason, but as you know a lot of times these injuries linger more than expected, and next thing you know the player is shut down for the year. Safe to say you can't be counting on Lowry to come back in the first place, let alone be the all star caliber player he's been this season. I was actually starting to get excited about the Raptors new and improved lineup to take on the Cavs, not because I thought they'd actually win the series, but maybe they'd make the Cavs sweat a little. Now, that seems highly unlikely.
Raptors are currently the 4 seed in the east, that's likely to remain their seed as long as they don't completely tank the rest of the season. Unfortunately, that'd set them up for a date with the Cavaliers in the second round, which would be an early exit for the Raptors compared to last year. Either way the Raptors were ending their season falling to the Cavs once again, however it'll be a little earlier this time around. Lowry being out will only hurt their seeding in the regular season. With or without him in the playoffs the Raptors destiny remains the same, don't choke and we'll end up losing to the Cavs at some point. If they lose to anyone else they should be disgusted with themselves.
If you had any doubts about the Cavs making another run at becoming NBA champions for the second straight year, they should be washed away with this news. Cavaliers made the biggest splash at the deadline within actual title contenders by trading away no one, and being able to acquire two players that'll provide a lot off their bench. Any questions about the Cavs depth, or bench scoring are a thing of the past.
Deron Williams isn't half the player he was 5 years ago, with that being said if you look around the league it'll be nearly impossible to find a better backup point guard. The Cavs had virtually no backup point guard the entire season, so to upgrade your second team with Deron Williams running the point will lead the Cavs bench to new heights. Now, you also add in a guy who can rebound and protect the rim like Bogut, the Cavs bench is starting to look better than some starting lineups. If you ask me this Cavs team now is much better than the team that won the championship last season. They need to be since the Warriors acquired Kevin Durant, but the Warriors also lost a lot of their depth in the process. Will these two acquisitions for the Cavs be the seal on the deal for the Cavs winning their second NBA championship, I believe so.
Derrick Rose's agent, B.J. Armstrong, reiterated on Saturday that Rose "wants to be in New York" after the Knicks included the player in trade discussions prior to the trade deadline on Thursday. Armstrong added that he and Rose understand that the Knicks were operating in their best interests when talking to opposing teams about a Rose deal. "It was an opportunity to see what his value truly was throughout the league," Armstrong said on Sirius XM NBA radio on Saturday. "So as you can see, through all the reports, there were teams that were interested in him and what he does and what he brings to the court." -Ian Begley ESPN
The Knicks and their series of unfortunate situations is easily the funniest ongoing segment on NBA's reality TV show, I live for agent comments like these. B.J. Armstrong, the guy that makes his living off the talented players he's representing is just trying to make his client the most money possible. A good way of doing that is manipulating the media and the fans, too bad he didn't do a very good job of it...
He's trying to say the trade deadline talks were good for Rose's value? Well, Rose said he wanted a max deal, but when the best offer the Knicks got for him is Ricky Rubio straight up, that infers otherwise. I mean it'd take some kind of sucker to give Rose all that money, or even close to that amount of money. Rose is average, very fucking average. He's a point guard that doesn't get assists, that's the first red flag, he doesn't shot very well from 3-point range, that's the second red flag, and his shot volume for the amount of points he averages is way too high. He's just not the player he was originally thought to be, it's not to say he can't have a successful NBA career still, he just needs to embody a different role, or switch up his game. What team wants to build a franchise around a point guard that doesn't pass well, can't shoot 3's, and can't score 20 points on a nightly basis. Too many flaws for a player that wants to get paid or treated like a star player.
Knicks by not trading him at the deadline have left open the possibility of him being resigned by the Knicks this off-season. I can only imagine the pain that is going to strike the heart's of Knicks fans when the Knicks resign Derrick Rose for way too much money. Phil Jackson, systematically destroying the Knicks on a daily basis, and no one can stop him. If you haven't noticed yet, Phil has clearly lost any intentions of turning this franchise around. At this point Phil has got to be burying the Knicks on purpose, I'm pretty sure he got too high and fell asleep during the last few hours before the trade deadline. If he consciously made the decision to keep Rose and every other piece that he should've move the Knicks have bigger problems. The Knicks continue to live in full dysfunction and chaos, it's a comical sight to say the least, so I won't complain I'll just continue to enjoy the ride.
Gonzaga's run at a perfect season is over, we all knew it'd come to an end eventually just not in the fashion in which it actually occurred. Last night, Gonzaga went into the final game of their regular season a 20 point favorite against BYU. BYU is a solid team in their respective conference, but if Gonzaga was a true #1 they should've been able to blow them out. Anyone with a gambling bone in their body would've taken BYU last night with that ridiculous of a spread in play, that's beside the point though, it does show how heavily favored Gonzaga was to win this game. Gonzaga was 29-0, everyone expecting Gonzaga to go 30-0, march on towards the NCAA Tournament looking to enshrine their names into college basketball immortality, conquering what so very few have done, completing the undefeated season... and then end up losing in the round of 32 to the first real college basketball program they run into. Unfortunately, BYU had to ruin all the fun, they just had to beat Gonzaga and take away the pure joy it'd bring every other college basketball fan watching Gonzaga get their hearts ripped out way too early in the NCAA tournament. No, instead BYU spoils the surprise early by walking into Gonzaga's home area and showing the world how much of a fraud Gonzaga truly is.
Gonzaga has been #1 in the country for about a month now, they won't be for much longer. They'll still have the best record in Div. 1, but due to their strength of schedule and the fact that they aren't in a power 5 conference, they'll fall out of the top spot for sure. How far is the real question. I doubt they'll drop them below 5, but you never know. The real question is, will they still be able to get a coveted #1 seed in the tournament. They clearly aren't worthy of it because if the Zags played in the ACC it'd show just how mediocre they are. I do love watching the committee overrate them by giving them a #1 seed, and then watch Gonzaga totally prove why they weren't deserving of that ranking at all regardless of their record. When will the NCAA learn that these non-power 5 conferences just don't contain the same level of players. There's a reason they aren't in the power 5, so why treat them like they are, it's embarrassing. I'll always root for the underdog, Gonzaga can't be an underdog when the NCAA hypes them up as a favorite to win the whole tournament. So instead, I'll just laugh when their inevitable downfall occurs.
The Sixers health woes with top 5 draft picks continues. Ben Simmons, stud forward from LSU that was drafted with the #1 overall pick in 2016, is officially ruled out for the rest of the season. He went in for his routine CT scan hoping all would go well and he'd be back on the court soon, somewhat salvaging a first season that he missed the majority of. Unfortunately, Simmons and Sixers fans got bad news today when it was announced he was done for the season. As much as this sucks for Sixers fans, they're certainly used to it at this point.
Sixers have had a top 5 pick in the last 4 drafts, and the only one of those top picks that played in their first season was Jahlil Okafor, and he was only able to play 53 games. The injury bug has definitley slowed down the process in Philadelphia, they had to wait 2 years just for Joel Embiid to take the floor, and although he's been amazing he still missed two full seasons that he could've been developing his game. Nerlens Noel is now gone, so it doesn't really matter that he battled injury most his tenure in Philadelphia because they'll get a nice lottery pick in exchange for him. Ben Simmons was the first player they drafted that wasn't a center, he was going to be the transcendent player that tied their entire team together with his Lebron like ability to do everything. No, I'm not saying he's the next Lebron James, I'm saying he's a player that is essentially a point forward with the skill set to do a little bit of everything on the hardwood. For him to miss a year of building chemistry with Embiid and the rest of the Sixers young team is just another setback the Sixers. It's such a shame to see injuries like this happen, especially after we got to see him kill it in the summer league, but oh well, not anything you can do about it now. On the bright side, Simmons has plenty of time to rehab the injury and next season we will all get to see what Ben Simmons is all about. If he's the player we saw dominate in college Philadelphia is in for a treat with this kid. The unfortunate reality of the situation is that Sixers fans won't get to witness the unreal ability this stud has until the beginning of the 2017-18 season.
Sixers Trade Nerlens Noel to Mavericks:
Sixers receive: Andrew Bogut, Justin Anderson, and a 2017 first round draft pick
Mavericks receive: Nerlens Noel
Trade Winner: Mavericks
Reason: Nerlens Noel never got a chance to shine on a Sixers team overcrowded with young centers. Now, he gets his chance, and in return all the Mavs had to give up was a first rounder, when Noel was a top 5 pick.
Nets Trade Bojan Bogdanovic to Wizards:
Nets receive: 2017 first round draft pick, Marcus Thornton, and Andrew Nicholson
Wizards receive: Bojan Bogdanovic and Chris McCullough
Trade Winner: Nets
Reason: Getting a first round pick round pick for Bojan Bogdanovic seemed impossible, yet the Nets were able to find a team stupid enough to do it, nice job.
Bulls Trade Taj Gibson and Doug McDermott to the Thunder:
Bulls receive: Cameron Payne, Anthony Morrow, and Joffrey Lauverge
Thunder receive: Doug McDermott, Taj Gibson, and 2018 second round draft pick
Reason: Thunder improved their roster with this move. Taj Gibson is still a very solid power forwad and he's averaging above his career numbers in every statistical category. Doug McDermott will help the Thunder's bench and add a nice scoring threat for the second unit. The Thunder got two contributors while the Bulls got next to nothing.
Bucks trade Roy Hibbert to the Nuggets
Bucks receive: 2017 second round draft pick
Nuggets receive: Roy Hibbert
Reason: Roy Hibbert is useless, I watched him play a ton for the Lakers last year, there's not one part of his game that'll help elevate that team. At least the Bucks have a shot drafting a young player that could potentially turn out to be something.
Raptors Trade Jared Sullinger to the Suns
Raptors receive: P.J. Tucker
Suns receive: Jared Sullinger and two future second-round draft picks
Reason: Raptors needed a wing defender and they got it in P.J. Tucker. Tucker is an under the radar player, but he will help the Raptors win by doing the little things that don't show up on the stat sheet. Good move for the Raptors as they look to compete for the other spot in the eastern conference finals.
Rockets Trade Tyler Ennis to the Lakers
Rockets receive: Marcelo Huertas
Lakers receive: Tyler Ennis
Reason: Rockets motive behind this deal doesn't make sense to me, both these point guards don't play much, however the Lakers got the point guard that is 22 and could still turn out to be a decent player. Marcelo Huertas was quite the character and I'll miss him, but he provides little to no value to the Rockets. If they are to waive Huertas it still doesn't free up enough cap space for me to say the Rockets got the better end of this deal.
Hawks trades Mike Scott to the Suns
Hawks receive: Cash
Suns receive: Mike Scott
Reason: Cash can be put towards winning in the future, whereas Mike Scott cannot.
Rockets trade K.J. McDaniels to the Nets
Rockets receive: $3.3 million freed up in cap space
Nets receive: K.J. McDaniels
Reason: Rockets made this move to create cap space in order to sign veteran free agents to help them build towards being Golden State's #1 contender. Rockets could potentially use this money to sign Andrew Bogut when he's eventually bought out of his deal.
Sixers trade Ersan Illyasova to the Hawks
Sixers receive: Tiago Splitter and 2 second round draft picks
Hawks receive: Ersan Illyasova
Reason: Illyasova has been on 5 teams in 2 years for a reason, he's just not that valuable. He's having one of his best years, but still the two second round picks and Splitter's expiring contract are move valuable than Illyasova who will probably only be on the Hawks for 2 more months.
Last night, Louisville took on UNC in Chapel Hill, and right as Pitino was headed into the locker room before halftime he got into a screaming match with a fan. Pitino had to be held back by his assistant coaches as he was beginning to walk towards the fan screaming at him. I've seem Pitino yell at players and referees in a verbally violent manner, but the way he was going after this fan was new level of Pitino anger. After the game he had to address the issue to the media, this was post Louisville getting blown out by UNC, and he had some strong words for the fan. Pitino addressed he was mostly upset because he respects the Chapel Hill crowd since they're one of the more respectable crowds in all of college basketball, also he expected this kind of thing from a student, but what really set him off was that it came from an adult. He called the fan a coward, which I found hilarious, and then went onto say he won't let this one fan ruin his image of how respectable the Chapel Hill crowd is, even though, before he said that he said they were turning into every other road crowd in college hoops. That's beside the point, though.
Today, what the fan said to Pitino came out, and it was something along the lines of "you suck Pitino", are you fucking kidding me. I'm having a really hard time believing this because it's so ludicrous, however that's what the reports are saying was said. If that's the case, Rick Pitino is the biggest bitch I've ever seen and should be embarrassed for his actions. If you're that thin-skinned you shouldn't be coaching an AAU team let alone one of the best college programs in the nation. His student-athletes probably hear much worse said about them during every road game, and they'd never react the way he did, and those kids are teenagers. It's honestly pathetic, Pitino needs to man up for real. A road fan saying you suck is a given at any game, it's a part of sports, and after that reaction, he showed the world just how easy it is to get into Pitino's head. Expect a lot more where that came from coach, you're basically asking for it now, nice job. Oh yeah, before I forget, YOU SUCK.
This "adult fan", must've slept with Pitino's wife or something, and Pitino knows about it, because there's no way in hell he got that mad over a "Pitino you suck" comment. I refuse to believe there's not more to this story than meets the eye.
Syracuse Wins in Dramatic Fashion Against Duke and May Have Just Secured Their Spot in the NCAA TournamentRead Now
If you missed last night's Duke-Cuse game I feel for you, I really do. Probably the best college basketball of the season, and the buzzer beater deep 3 pointer from John Gillon to win the game puts Syracuse in a very good position to make the NCAA tournament. As long as Syracuse doesn't lay an egg the rest of the season, they'll be dancing. If Cuse wins one of their final two game, they'll be in. If for some reason they lose both those games, and win at least one or two games in the ACC tournament they'll get in as well. The only way I can see them not making it into the NCAA tournament is if they lose they last two games of the regular season and they lose their first ACC tournament game, that'd take a major choke job though, and at the point they wouldn't be worthy despite all the quality wins they've had this season.
Syracuse fans have a lot to be excited about, they've been on the bubble for the past month and their hopes of securing a spot the tournament were beginning to look bleak. Then, John Gillon decided to go full savage mode last night taking down Duke basically by himself. He was automatic in the second half ,every shot he put up, no matter how suffocating the defense was, kept falling. He was a power running back going into the lane last night, putting his head down, driving through Duke defenders, and finishing strong no matter how much contact he was absorbing. Dude was a straight machine. Now, Syracuse will be dancing, and that's in part to a monster performance from a kid that came out of nowhere this season.
Syracuse fans should also be excited because this team is beginning to look a lot like last year's Cuse team that was able to make it all the way to the final four after sneaking in as a 10 seed. Last year Cuse didn't quite finish as strong as this year's team, but they were both bubble teams sneaking into the tournament, and we all know what happened last year. Will Syracuse be able to repeat what they did last year, will John Gillon be the boost to push them over the top this time and go on a Kemba Walker like run, or will Syracuse let this incredible win go to waste by laying the egg of all eggs to finish the season. We'll just have to wait and see, the unpredictability of college basketball is what makes it so great, although I do think Syracuse is poised for another magical run. Jim Boeheim just knows how to get his boys playing at their highest level at the right time.