On the Heat, Leonard, and McGrady

  • I’m so relieved that the Heat managed to hold on and win the title.  It means we’re spared a summer of trite platitudes reminding us of Lebron’s flaws.  I should also mention that I was amused by how what seemed like the entire internet (or at least my newsfeed on Facebook) picked the 4th quarter of Game 6 to triumphantly play the ‘Not Jordan’ card in all its effervescent profundity.  How’d that work out?
  • The most remarkable thing about Lebron isn’t his greatness or what he’s accomplished: it’s that he actually came into the league with these expectations thrust upon him.  Really, has there ever been anyone, in any field, that completely lived up to the hype?
  • Can we please give it a rest about the Kawhi Leonard blunder?  The Rockets obviously picked the wrong guy (having chosen Marcus Morris over him), but that’s never been in dispute.  The issue is that it doesn’t naturally follow, as most have assumed, that Leonard would have turned out the way that he has on any other team, particularly the Rockets.  Oh, he still would have been a better player than Marcus Morris – that doesn’t take much.  But it’s no secret that the Spurs place unique emphasis upon player development in ways that other organizations cannot afford.  Their young guys get the reps and are able to learn to play the game the right way and that in turn leads to results.  Which brings me to my next point…

  • The Spurs are amazing; Tony Parker is amazing; Pop is amazing; Duncan is amazing; Kawhi has arrived.  This is all irrefutable.  But can we stop evaluating everything in a vacuum?  The Spurs—and everything related to the Spurs—are the Spurs because everything fit into place perfectly in ways unprecedented in the modern era.  You had a transcendent #1 pick fall into the lap of an already tailor-made championship supporting cast.  From there, a legacy was spawned.  Everything must be viewed from within that prism and its corresponding effects.  Take Pop: he’s amazing, I get that.  I’m not disputing that.  But it really bugs me when he’s discussed as some sort of infallible God, unmatched by his peers.  He’s able to do things that no one else can because of that aforementioned infrastructure.  Take a minute to read the Grantland piece on Tracy McGrady from yesterday.  (I thought the premise was unfair, but I digress.)  In it, it’s mentioned that McGrady didn’t learn the right values because they weren’t taught/stressed by his coaches.  And that’s really the point here about Pop.  He’s able to demand the ideal because he has that cache; Duncan has his back and if Duncan has already bought in, nothing else matters.  No one in modern history, even Phil Jackson, has had that luxury.  Look at it this way: let’s say you want your kids to be perfectly healthy and great at school or whatever.  So the ideal way of ensuring that occurrence is outright restricting their sugar/junk intake, making them take piano lessons from age 5, etc al.  But if you live in reality, you know that’ll never work.  Why?  Because the kids will rebel and the bubble will burst.  So you know you have to take the moderate ground and pick your battles.  I compare that to Pop.  He’s able to demand the bubble ideal because Duncan bought in.  He’s able to scream at the likes of Ginobili and Parker for minor errors—and consequently also younger players—demanding perfection, because Duncan bought in.  There’s no risk of rebellion because Duncan bought in.  It’s literally Pop’s way or the highway and that breeds the ideal and execution of the ideal.  Rumor had it that during his stint with the Rockets, Tracy McGrady was often allowed to rest on the sidelines during practice.  He certainly rested on the defensive end during games.  Why was this allowed?  Because Jeff Van Gundy knew he had to pick his battles.  He didn’t have total rule and knew he’d completely lose McGrady if he didn’t tread carefully.  That’s also the case with every other coach in the NBA.
  • There will be discussion in the coming months of the merits of the efficiency approach (in eschewing midrange jumpshots.)  I think a few points are being missed, however.  That a team should prefer close and long doesn’t necessarily mean that its individual players should neglect the midrange aspect of their game.  And this statement is not inconsistent with the overarching philosophy.  Seek out shots from close and long, because they are mathematically preferable, but when they are taken away (as we saw last night), resort to taking what is given (the midrange).  Why is the argument sprouting up that these paint-packing schemes are debunking the philosophy?  That close-range shots are being taken away doesn’t somehow mean they’re not preferable.  They’re still preferred and should be sought out (along with 3 pointers.)  You just need to also be able to hit midrange jumpers.  To that point, I hope James Harden was watching last night.  Too often last season, he was bottled up when the outside stroke wasn’t falling and the gimmick moves to the hoop weren’t working.
  • The Heat are very beatable and that is encouraging.  But it depends on how they reload this summer.  As Chris Mannix mentioned last night, the Greg Oden situation will be an interesting one to watch.  But Dwyane Wade is clearly on his last legs and no longer invincible.
  • A final note: I felt a certain sadness last night, at the culmination, watching Tracy McGrady extend congratulations to Lebron James and Dwyane Wade.  They weren’t the extended exchanges that you saw James/Wade partake in with Tim Duncan or often see take place between opposing stars after a series finish.  You know, the ones where they hug it out and are still talking and you can see the mutual respect – the type that you would have once expected for a man of McGrady’s stature.  No, it was just a quick, fleeting acknowledgment, the kind you’d give to someone like Matt Bonner.  But that’ s essentially what/who McGrady has become.  Even worse, through this Finals and playoff run, he’s been a punchline, a spectacle.  Late in blowouts, I’ve cringed when the home crowd has cheered for him to get a hoop, as if in the same manner one would encourage their 5-year-old brother.  It wasn’t supposed to be this way.  At the least, shouldn’t he have gone out with the same dignity as other greying stars riding the bench in the Finals?  I don’t remember anyone laughing when Mitch Richmond played out the last few seconds of the Lakers’ first title clincher.  But that’s just how it is and I guess it makes sense.  T-Mac is still just 34, a shell of an NBA player, yet a man who once was considered the very best the entire league had to offer.  That striking juxtaposition is really all that’s needed to make sense of the jeers.

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Total comments: 41
  • rocketrick says 1 YEAR ago

    Why? bruce wasn't a bad player. he was a good 3pt shooter who played outstanding defense......much like what Leonard does

    Bowen was pretty much one dimensional in his offense, 3 pointers and that's it. All I'm saying is Leonard has time to develop a mid-range game that Bowen never could manufacture. Leonard's wing span vs. Bowen? Not even close. If I recall correctly, Bowen didn't start many games either unlike Leonard's early career and whatever comes afterwards.
  • rockets best fan says 1 YEAR ago

    I think it's much too early in Leonard's career to call him simply a better version of Bruce Bowen. I'm amazed at how quickly the Spurs have been able to develop Leonard's shot. He was like a 29% career shooter in college which is why he dropped as far as he did in the draft.

    Why? bruce wasn't a bad player. he was a good 3pt shooter who played outstanding defense......much like what Leonard does

  • rocketrick says 1 YEAR ago

    I only see him as a better version of bruce bowen

    I think it's much too early in Leonard's career to call him simply a better version of Bruce Bowen. I'm amazed at how quickly the Spurs have been able to develop Leonard's shot. He was like a 29% career shooter in college which is why he dropped as far as he did in the draft.

  • rockets best fan says 1 YEAR ago

    Leonard has improved drastically since coming into the league. I am not sure why people discount defense and rebounding. But he's improved his shot and I wouldn't be surprised to see him be a 40% 3 point guy and have a semblance of a midrange game as he improves next year. He won't get an all star bid but he will probably deserve one. He will get more responsibility next year.

    I only see him as a better version of bruce bowen

  • timetodienow1234567 says 1 YEAR ago Leonard has improved drastically since coming into the league. I am not sure why people discount defense and rebounding. But he's improved his shot and I wouldn't be surprised to see him be a 40% 3 point guy and have a semblance of a midrange game as he improves next year. He won't get an all star bid but he will probably deserve one. He will get more responsibility next year.
  • thejohnnygold says 1 YEAR ago

    I think we already have this guy on the roster. James Anderson was this kind of player in college. Here's hoping he puts it together this year...

  • rockets best fan says 1 YEAR ago

    the kid does look impressive

  • rohlo says 1 YEAR ago

    video on jamaal franklin... i just dont want the spurs to get him and pair him with fellow sdsu alum kawhi leonard..as rockets fans we will have to deal with that tandem setting up the spurs for another 10 years. lol

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uac5RqNT5iU

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FTT7VWcFEi0

  • rohlo says 1 YEAR ago

    Thanks for the welcome! :rolleyes:Let me see if i can dig some video up on him. Been a Rockets fan since 1983 .Its ironic I ended up in San Diego where the Rockets began! I have run across alot of Rockets fans here still believe it or not..

  • rockets best fan says 1 YEAR ago

    hopefully the rockets dont pass on another san diego state player like thye did kawhi leonard.. san diego state point gaurd jamaal frankling is gonna be a star, steve fisher is groomign good nba ready players at SDSU now...

    you heard the name here!!!

    jamaal franklin!! PG san diego state in 2013 nba draft
    go rockets!

    Welcome to the forum :rolleyes:who is this kid?..........got some video on him?

  • rohlo says 1 YEAR ago

    hopefully the rockets dont pass on another san diego state player like thye did kawhi leonard.. san diego state point gaurd jamaal frankling is gonna be a star, steve fisher is groomign good nba ready players at SDSU now...

    you heard the name here!!!

    jamaal franklin!! PG san diego state in 2013 nba draft
    go rockets!

  • 2016Champions says 1 YEAR ago

    I haven't really analyzed the stats, but just going off the eye test, Leonard looks like a Chandler Parsons with better defense. Something worth noting though is that he's 21 years old, Parsons is 24, it's likely Leonard will become a much better player than Parsons.

  • Stephen says 1 YEAR ago

    2016,the flip answer is a rebounding Battier.

    A better comparison might be a Gerald Wallace.

    He plays strong defense,will get better.

    Is an excellent rebounder,but part of that is no one else on Spurs rebounds besides Duncan.

    Plays hard,is apparently a hard worker,wants to get better.

    But,good heavens his offensive game is a shambles.

    He's turned himself into a good 3pt shooter,but for the rest...

    I lost track of how many lay-ups and close-in shots he was missing. He shot that one-handed flip shot once he got inside 15'-which he consistently missed. Zero post-up game.

    He made the system passes,never made a good,much less great set-up pass. Because he can barely dribble the ball he can't create anything for his teammates.

    Even if he learned how to be a good ball handler,he hasn't shown great court vision. So he'd still be limited in creating for others. He'd have to develop an off the dribble jumper-and a jumper period- and learn how to finish inside.

    To sum up in a few yrs he has to learn how to dribble effectively,develop a jumper,learn to see the court and how to set up his teammates and figure out how to finish inside.

    Great scorers know how to score. Leonard doesn't. So to become a star he has to has to learn how to create offense for himself and others.

    I just don't see it happening.

    To be fair he was dealing w/tendinitis this past season-which is worrisome on it's own. Still...

    Per 36 minutes:

    Rookie...11.9ppg, 7.7 rebounds, 2.0 steals, 1.6 assists, 1.0 turnovers, 16.6 PER,

    2nd yr....13.7ppg, 6.9 rebounds,1.9 steals, 1.8 assists, 1.2 turnovers, 16.4 PER.

    Parsons

    Rookie...12.0ppg, 6.0 rebounds, 1.5 steals, 2.7 assists, 1.6 turnovers, 13.3 PER

    2nd yr....15.4ppg, 5.3 rebounds, 1.0 steals, 3.5 assists, 1.9 turnovers, 15.3 PER

    McGrady

    Rookie....13.8ppg, 8.2 rebounds, 1.5 steals, 3.0 assists, 2 turnovers, 17.4 PER

    2nd yr.....14.9ppg, 9.0 rebounds, 1.7 steals, 3.7 assists, 2.6 turnovers, 20.6 PER

    Paul George

    Rookie...13.5ppg, 6.4 rebounds, 1.8 steals, 1.8 assists, 2.0 turnovers, 13.0 PER

    2nd yr....14.7ppg, 6.8 rebounds, 2.0 steals, 2.9 assists, 2.2 turnovers, 16.5 PER

    You'll notice worrisome for Leonard is that while McGrady and George bumped up their PERs by a full 3 points,and Parsons by 2,Leonard actually declined. Also the other three saw their assists go up at least 20% and their assist% went up 33% for Parsons,36% for McGrady and a whopping 62% for George while Leonard saw an increase of just 17% in assist%.

    For McGrady,George and Parsons,their second yr saw them becoming more efficient offensively,for Leonard not so much.

    I did the same for Nic Batum,but man is he all over the place. His injury plagued second season saw a huge jump in PER,followed by almost as large a drop in his third yr.Then an increase,then a drop.

  • 2016Champions says 1 YEAR ago

    Leonard is so, so, so, horrifically overrated. Great, great young role player but some of the talk of him being a future star is absurd. No handles whatsoever to speak of and handles aren't something you develop after you come into the league.

    What's your best and worse case comparison?

  • Rahat Huq says 1 YEAR ago

    Leonard is so, so, so, horrifically overrated. Great, great young role player but some of the talk of him being a future star is absurd. No handles whatsoever to speak of and handles aren't something you develop after you come into the league.

  • manmythlegend says 1 YEAR ago I hope Leonard continues to work on being an effective rebounder and defender, instead of trying to be a scorer in the league. He reminds me of Dennis Rodman to a certain degree, but with better offensive skills.
  • rockets best fan says 1 YEAR ago

    on Leonard being a star....way to soon to tell....

    but people forget that Dream was originally just an athletic defensive guy...and Sampson had the offensive tool chest. It just took time to perfect his defense then perfect his offense. In the end, Dream was a one may post wrecking ball on offense too....

    The same thing can happen to Leonard or Ibaka or others down the stretch. They are already great at some key things with enough athletic ability and mindset to perfect the rest.

    I agree it's to early on Leonard. by the way welcome to the forum :rolleyes:

    however the accent Hakeem experience only a hand full of players will attain. he benefitted from playing soccer in his early years and not really learning basketball until later teen life. most of today's players have been playing basketball since their baby cribs. :PI do think that type of accent is possible, but highly unlikely

  • thejohnnygold says 1 YEAR ago

    on Leonard being a star....way to soon to tell....

    but people forget that Dream was originally just an athletic defensive guy...and Sampson had the offensive tool chest. It just took time to perfect his defense then perfect his offense. In the end, Dream was a one may post wrecking ball on offense too....

    The same thing can happen to Leonard or Ibaka or others down the stretch. They are already great at some key things with enough athletic ability and mindset to perfect the rest.

    Good point--imagine if Ibaka spends the next 5-6 off seasons working with Hakeem. Presuming it takes, he could wind up being....unbeatable.

  • John P says 1 YEAR ago

    on Leonard being a star....way to soon to tell....

    but people forget that Dream was originally just an athletic defensive guy...and Sampson had the offensive tool chest. It just took time to perfect his defense then perfect his offense. In the end, Dream was a one may post wrecking ball on offense too....

    The same thing can happen to Leonard or Ibaka or others down the stretch. They are already great at some key things with enough athletic ability and mindset to perfect the rest.

  • Stephen says 1 YEAR ago

    OTOH,drafting Morris opened the door for Parsons.

    And speaking of that draft,I preferred Singleton because he had a 3pt shot. Ooof!

    As noted above,my judgement isn't perfect(heh!),but I just don't see Leonard as the next great star.

    Mediocre handle,poor passing vision,horrible offensive game 15' and in,I just don't see it.

    Great defender who rebounds like a monster,always competes,good 3pt shooter,just don't see him as a star.(Perhaps it's that old stars must be great scorers/passers thing,where defense gets overlooked. Something I whine about,but am guilty of.)

  • rocketrick says 1 YEAR ago

    I don't know, to me your argument is too esoteric. Plus I believe you are insinuating that I rooted against Air Jordan simply because of his on the court prowess. I think it is easy to find a reason to dislike most any athlete for what they do off the court. Perhaps in your case, you are right and Lebron will never win you over many years after he has left the game. I feel the same way about Kobe and I can't ever imagine respecting him years from now after all of his off the court issues.

    However, on the court, Kobe has my full respect as he is one of the very few players ever in the NBA with that killer instinct. That's how he has earned his nickname, the Black Mamba. Nobody questions Air Jordan always had that killer instinct until the end of his career when, as all players do, he aged.

    I am curious to see if Lebron can become an assassin for the next 10 years. If so, he will probably go down as the greatest ever. If not, he still could but the mountain will be much higher for him to climb.

    I personally hope to root against Lebron many times over the next decade (unless he becomes a Rocket) when the Rockets match up against the Heat, possibly the Cavaliers down the road or any other team he may join before the end of his career.

    I've enjoyed discussing this with you and although I don't think we can find as much common ground as we'd like, there probably is more there under the surface than either of us realize. The best part about this site is it's perfectly acceptable to agree to disagree (most of the time!) without the petty back and forth that too often occurs on other sites.

  • cjuice28 says 1 YEAR ago

    There will always be Lebron haters. Only until he is gone from the game for awhile will some of those Lebron haters appreciate him for his accomplishments. I believe some of the arrogance you mention is due to all the negative press he's had to endure. Some see an air of confidence as outright arrogance. I felt the same way about Air Jordan at the time.

    That's kinda of the point I'm trying to make, although I guess not clearly. I do not believe Lebron is like Jordan, or Kobe (who is another good example) in that his "haters" will change their tune. Why? Because, I dislike Lebron NOT because of his on the court performance which is against my rooting interest. But because, of the way he carries himself.

    With Jordan/Kobe I see how you get to changing your mind, because he dominates your team, and due to your current rooting bias you hold it against him. With Lebron the "hate" is coming from a different source. Again, I readily acknowledge Lebron is a great player, 10-15 years from now I will still acknowledge Lebron is a great player, that does not make up for his persona.

    You seem to suggest that if the negative press wasn't present (which he is primarily responsible for no less) he wouldn't be arrogant. I guess that's a possibility, but that isn't a valid excuse IMO.

    I would add this seems to be one of the more misunderstood (although relatively unimportant) topics in the league. I think many people carry my opinion, HOWEVER this view is confused for criticizing Lebron's game. Truehoop ran a number of stories a couple years ago, which IMO perputuated the confusion, by asking why people didn't like Lebron, but not really bringing up the Decision, et al.

  • 2016Champions says 1 YEAR ago

    There's a reason D-Mo couldn't get on the court before Morey had to basically just trade away the guys ahead of him to force it: McHale has to worry about his job and that means he has to worry about losing. Pop plays young players whenever he wants.

    There was a time when Popovich was notorious for not trusting his rookies. Between Manu Ginobili in 2002 and George Hill in 2008, Popovich used just one rookie of note--Beno Udrih in 2005.

  • rocketrick says 1 YEAR ago

    There will always be Lebron haters. Only until he is gone from the game for awhile will some of those Lebron haters appreciate him for his accomplishments. I believe some of the arrogance you mention is due to all the negative press he's had to endure. Some see an air of confidence as outright arrogance. I felt the same way about Air Jordan at the time.

  • cjuice28 says 1 YEAR ago

    I remember feeling the same way about Air Jordan and found myself always rooting for his opponent in the NBA Playoffs. Over time, you come to realize how rare a player of Air Jordan's stature is and I, for one, appreciate even more the obstacles Lebron has overcome and now at age 28, he is in position to accomplish even more than Jordan did. Will Lebron surpass Jordan? Only time will tell, but no doubt he is a rare player that at minimum has to be respected now.

    That's exactly opposite of the point I'm advancing. It does not matter how many titles he wins, nor what his mainstream media reputation is, I will never like him or enjoy his success. I readily acknowledge he is a great player- he is the best player in the NBA now, and is one of the best ever.

    His arrogance, which seems to extend beyond basketball, is unbearable. Maybe said a better way: I could imagine myself being friends with someone like Duncan; Lebron never.

    http://offthebench.nbcsports.com/2011/12/13/photog-who-shot-lebron-james-for-nike-says-lebron-showed-up-with-masseuse-would-not-allow-direct-conversation-with-him/

    http://25.media.tumblr.com/db3aba19c8c23beb526f236f667745cf/tumblr_moq60vmpwC1r0jlbgo1_1280.jpg

  • rocketrick says 1 YEAR ago

    There are plenty of other NBA Players who have been successful NBA Head Coaches. Doc Rivers, Jerry Sloan, Don Nelson, Mark Jackson immediately come to mind. There have been a few failures but for the most part, the vast majority of NBA Players choose to not go into the coaching ranks after their playing career ends.

  • rocketrick says 1 YEAR ago

    Lots of former great players are walking around with championship rings. Very few of them parlay that into a championship ring as a head coach, for whatever reason. Aside from Lenny Wilkens and Tommy Heinsohn, I can't think of another HoF player who won a championship as a head coach.

    Tommy Heinsohn, Bill Russell, KC Jones, Bill Sharman are all NBA Hall of Fame Players who won NBA Titles as Head Coaches. Larry Bird probably could have if he had the desire. That's really why there aren't as many Hall of Fame Players who are successful Head Coaches, it's really because most of them don't have the desireto be a Head Coach and never even try.

    Phil Jackson was an average NBA Player who did play a 6th man role for a couple of seasons for the Knicks who parlayed his playing career into becoming the most successful NBA Coach of all time.

  • manmythlegend says 1 YEAR ago

    Great NBA Head Coaches always have the full respect of their players. I'm just saying Coach McHale has that potential, especially with his NBA Championship pedigree and his own individual story of hard work resulting in success.

    Lots of former great players are walking around with championship rings. Very few of them parlay that into a championship ring as a head coach, for whatever reason. Aside from Lenny Wilkens and Tommy Heinsohn, I can't think of another HoF player who won a championship as a head coach.

  • rocketrick says 1 YEAR ago

    I'm not commenting on the players respecting McHale. I just don't believe him to be a great coach and view him on the same lines of Isiah Thomas as former great players who were mediocre head coaches at best.

    Great NBA Head Coaches always have the full respect of their players. I'm just saying Coach McHale has that potential, especially with his NBA Championship pedigree and his own individual story of hard work resulting in success.
  • manmythlegend says 1 YEAR ago

    If Eric Spoelstra is able to earn the respect of all-time greats like Lebron, D-Wade, Ray Allen et al, then why can't Coach McHale especially with McHale's pedigree as a Champion? I have much more respect for Spoelstra now than I did in his early years.

    I'm not commenting on the players respecting McHale. I just don't believe him to be a great coach and view him on the same lines of Isiah Thomas as former great players who were mediocre head coaches at best.

  • rocketrick says 1 YEAR ago

    On TMac....I cna't say that it bothers me that much about TMac. There are lots of players in the NBA who have worked hard, gone through hard times, and didn't win a championship. TMac was given lots of physical ability and at least at times it appeared that he really didn't do enough to take it to the next level....or just keep basically healthy.

    In my humble opinion, the reason TMac never succeeded in the NBA was precisely because he chose NOT to work hard in practice, in the offseason, etc. to find ways to improve his game and find ways to make his teammates better.

    TMac probably had more talent and potential than just about anyone that has ever been in the NBA, yet his career is a testament that talent and potential alone does not make you a Champion.
  • rocketrick says 1 YEAR ago

    On the buy in...I don't think that it is just Duncan's buy in that does it. I think Pop won a championship...and then another...etc...and if you come and play for that coach you come in having to respect him to begin with.

    Popovich took over as Head Coach during the 1996-97 season while still acting as the GM for the Spurs at the time. They finished in the lottery that season, drafted Tim Duncan #1 and the rest is now history. So actually Popovich had not yet won an NBA Title when Duncan joined the team.

    I totally agree with Rahat, that without Duncan (and the Admiral in those early years) buying in to Popovich's system, the Spurs as we know them today probably would not exist.
  • rocketrick says 1 YEAR ago

    Yup. It's one thing to make decisions as a coach where you know you are untouchable. It's another to coach in a manner to keep your job.

    It will be interesting to see how McHale is viewed if Howard signs with Houston. The expectations and pressure will be far greater on him. I don't believe he his a championship coach.

    If Eric Spoelstra is able to earn the respect of all-time greats like Lebron, D-Wade, Ray Allen et al, then why can't Coach McHale especially with McHale's pedigree as a Champion? I have much more respect for Spoelstra now than I did in his early years.
  • rocketrick says 1 YEAR ago

    I agree the trite platitudes would be present, and they would be false. Lebron is the best player in the NBA and is quite capable. However, he is so smug and arrogant, I just can't enjoy his success, particularly when Duncan, who seems like a great dude, is on the other side.

    I remember feeling the same way about Air Jordan and found myself always rooting for his opponent in the NBA Playoffs. Over time, you come to realize how rare a player of Air Jordan's stature is and I, for one, appreciate even more the obstacles Lebron has overcome and now at age 28, he is in position to accomplish even more than Jordan did. Will Lebron surpass Jordan? Only time will tell, but no doubt he is a rare player that at minimum has to be respected now.
  • manmythlegend says 1 YEAR ago

    There's a reason D-Mo couldn't get on the court before Morey had to basically just trade away the guys ahead of him to force it: McHale has to worry about his job and that means he has to worry about losing. Pop plays young players whenever he wants.

    Yup. It's one thing to make decisions as a coach where you know you are untouchable. It's another to coach in a manner to keep your job.

    It will be interesting to see how McHale is viewed if Howard signs with Houston. The expectations and pressure will be far greater on him. I don't believe he his a championship coach.

  • Rahat Huq says 1 YEAR ago

    The Rockets don't?

    There's a reason D-Mo couldn't get on the court before Morey had to basically just trade away the guys ahead of him to force it: McHale has to worry about his job and that means he has to worry about losing. Pop plays young players whenever he wants.

  • cjuice28 says 1 YEAR ago

    I agree the trite platitudes would be present, and they would be false. Lebron is the best player in the NBA and is quite capable. However, he is so smug and arrogant, I just can't enjoy his success, particularly when Duncan, who seems like a great dude, is on the other side.

  • 2016Champions says 1 YEAR ago

    But it’s no secret that the Spurs place unique emphasis upon player development in ways that other organizations cannot afford.

    The Rockets don't?

  • John P says 1 YEAR ago

    On drafting Morris: mistakes happen. Didn't most teams in the league pass on Parker and Ginoboli too. Everyone has made mistakes (though there are a few really big stinkers like Portland choosing Oden over Durant).

    On the buy in...I don't think that it is just Duncan's buy in that does it. I think Pop won a championship...and then another...etc...and if you come and play for that coach you come in having to respect him to begin with.

    On TMac....I cna't say that it bothers me that much about TMac. There are lots of players in the NBA who have worked hard, gone through hard times, and didn't win a championship. TMac was given lots of physical ability and at least at times it appeared that he really didn't do enough to take it to the next level....or just keep basically healthy.

    I know there are some people whose bodies just break down over others....see Oden, Roy, or the entire old Portland franchise, but there were times that it just didn't seem that TMac was taking the tough road. I never saw the dedication or determination to play through pain/injuries. Not to say he was always faking it but he never seemed to be the guy who led by example. He was never a Duncan, Kobe, LeBron, Durant as a great player who also puts the work in and leads by example. He is more like a Melo or a Josh Smith...lots of physical gifts that serve him well but he doesn't seem to add that much extra to improve or keep his abilities from sliding

    Great game and series though.....but Danny Green was shown for what he is....a great shooter when open but worthless when covered....and Manu looks like he is done

  • bboley24 says 1 YEAR ago

    My Tmac sentiments exactly. Gotta be a way to get tmac on our roster when we make a run.

  • feelingsupersonic says 1 YEAR ago

    The Beatles completely lived up to the hype in their field and then redefined the music world but yes finding indivividuals that live up to the hype is rare.