Posts Tagged ‘John Schuhmann’

Taboo Topics with Coach Pop

There are certain things you just don't talk about with Gregg Popovich.

There are certain things you just don’t talk about with Gregg Popovich.

ALL BALL NEW JERSEY — Note to all NBA reporters: Gregg Popovich knows nothing about the team you cover, unless that team is the San Antonio Spurs.

Before the Spurs played the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden on Monday, one Knicks reporter asked Popovich what he thought of New York’s first few games.

The response: “Nothing. I don’t watch film on other people at this point in the season. I don’t even know what I’m doing yet, so it’s kind of a waste of time to watch other people. We’ve got enough work to figure out how we want to play and how we want to put it together. That’s the honest truth.”

When he says “at this point in the season,” he means “in the regular season.” Ask Popovich about the opponent in January or February and you’re likely to get a similar response.

***

Other NBA teams aren’t the only sports that Popovich doesn’t watch. The World Series ended in rather dramatic fashion on Sunday night, but Pop couldn’t be distracted from one of the few times he gets to have dinner in New York.

“If it’s nighttime, it’s dinner time,” Popovich said in response to a question about Mets pitcher Matt Harvey convincing manager Terry Collins to leave him in the game for the ninth inning of Game 5. “Dinner and wine. No baseball, no football. Sports are boring.”

That brought a few laughs from the media scrum.

“I’m serious,” Popovich continued. “Why would I want to watch a baseball game when I could go to dinner and relax with friends and enjoy.”

Of course, that transitioned into a great story about Manu Ginobili convincing Popovich that he should play at MSG on Monday, instead of sitting out the second game of a day-night back-to-back. And if you ask Popovich about his own players, he’ll usually give you good stuff. On Monday, he provided terrific quotes on integrating LaMarcus Aldridge and David West into the Spurs’ system, about the development of Kawhi Leonard, and about Danny Green being a decent defender, which you couldn’t have foreseen when the Spurs waived him back in 2010.

***

Still, though Popovich has helped turn Leonard into one of the best two-way players in the league, he may not have watched much of the forward before the Spurs acquired him in the 2011 Draft.

In one of those answers about Leonard’s development, Popovich said this:

“He was basically a big man in college. He didn’t play on the perimeter. When he came, he couldn’t shoot a three until Chip Engelland got a hold of him. So all of this is new to him as a perimeter player, defensively, offensively, his development with some of the moves he has that Chad Forcier works with him on. All of that has been an education for him.”

Asked about that after the game, this was Leonard’s response:

“I don’t think he’s seen me play a lot. I’ve always played on the wing. I don’t think a lot of people watched me play at San Diego State. Just because I averaged 10 rebounds, they thought I was a power forward. I always played on the wing and this is nothing new to me.”

So don’t ask Popovich about college basketball, either.

***

Oh yeah, there’s one more taboo topic with Popovich. His name is Phil Jackson.

Question: “How do you think Phil did in free agency? He didn’t get the star like LaMarcus, but he got a lot of other pieces…”

Popovich: “I can just top you right there. I don’t evaluate Phil Jackson.”

Question: “Or just how the Knicks did in free agency, and the pieces…”

Popovich: “That would be Phil.”

Gerald Green Wins The Dunk Contest A Couple Weeks Late

by Micah Hart

He didn’t blow out a birthday candle this time, but Gerald Green did throw down what NBA.com scribe John Schuhmann said might be the best in-game dunk he’s ever seen. You don’t want to miss this one, from Saturday night’s Nets-Rockets tilt:



My goodness. Welcome back to the League, Gerald. LeMont Calloway, I think you’ve got some work to do.

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Conventional wisdom report: May 6th

by Micah Hart

I was thinking about this in the wake of last week’s dust-up between the Atlanta Hawks and Orlando Sentinel columnist Mike Bianchi. Hawks beat writer (and friend of the podcast) Mike Cunningham mentioned in a blog post that it was interesting that Bianchi was so down on the Hawks at the time, especially given that after Game 5 of the series he wrote:

“The Magic are now down in this series 3-1 and it’s all but over. Does anybody out there really, honestly believe the Magic can rally back from 3-1 against a talented and athletic Hawks team?”

I come here not to bury Bianchi though, nor to praise him, but merely to point out that in the NBA Playoffs, the tide can turn very quickly. A team is left for dead (Dallas after blowing a 23-point lead in Portland), then suddenly they are unbeatable (topping the two-time defending champs on their home court — twice — will do that for you). It’s more volatile than the stock market.

So each day until the end of the NBA Finals, we’ll be taking a look at the conventional wisdom of the moment — which team is currently the favorite to win it all, and which team should be ashamed to still be putting on their jerseys.

Start planning the parade:

Miami Heat

John Schuhmann pointed this out yesterday in a column on NBA.com – Celtics fans can complain about missing Kendrick Perkins all they want as they watch LeBron James and Dwyane Wade sashay to the basket, but in 240 minutes over the last four years the duo has shot 67% from within five feet of the basket with Perkins on the floor.

I know the Mavericks are up 2-0 on the Lakers, but they’ve still got some emotional baggage to overcome. If there’s a favorite today, it’s gotta be the Heat.

Give it up already:

L.A. Lakers

In the history of the NBA, only three teams have ever rebounded from 0-2 where both losses came on their homecourt: Lakers over Warriors in 1969, Rockets over Suns in 1994, and Mavs over Rockets in 2005. So, it is doable, but if it’s to be done, it’s going to have to happen in part without Ron Artest, who was suspended for Game 3 for his hard foul on JJ Barea in the waning moments of Wednesday night’s Game 2.

Peace out, L.A.

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Chris Bosh sprains ankle, worsens health by shoving foot in mouth

by Micah Hart

Chris Bosh had a rough start to the season. With Miami struggling out of the gate, a lot of the agitas was thrown his way, with people claiming he wasn’t as good as the other members of the SuperFriends, that he was soft, and that he couldn’t handle the increased pressure of performing in the spotlight.

Most of that was forgotten as the Heat shrugged off their mediocre 9-8 start by winning 21 of the next 22 games, and Bosh, by averaging 18.6 ppg and 8.2 rebounds, answered those criticisms.

Well, two of the three anyway.

Bosh is taking heat today for his postgame comments after Saturday night’s 99-96 loss to the Bulls in Chicago, a game in which Bosh appeared to hurt his ankle after Chicago’s Omer Asik accidentally rolled onto his leg chasing after a loose ball.

According to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, Bosh didn’t take too kindly to Asik’s tenacity:

“C’mon, that is how guys get hurt, that is how serious injuries happen. You’ve got to watch people’s legs. I know guys want to hustle and everything but we all want to play and provide for our families and have a job. …We all want to be healthy and that is very important. If it is by somebody’s leg, don’t dive for the ball, it’s too close.”

Needless to say, this has caused quite a bit of snickering on the Interwebs, with our own John Schuhmann leading the charge on Twitter:

@johnschuhmann “If it’s flu season, don’t defend me too tightly. That’s how germs are spread.” #chrisboshquotes

@johnschuhmann “If you cut back door, I might hurt my neck. That is how guys get hurt.” #chrisboshquotes

@johnschuhmann “If you might accidentally poke me in the eye, don’t try to block my shot. That’s how injuries happen.” #chrisboshquotes

Pretty funny stuff. By the way, here is the play in question — you be the judge if Asik is playing dirty or not:

I dunno — I understand Bosh wanting players to take care not to injure each other, but seems to me that diving after loose balls is what often separates winning from losing, or at least that’s what I’ve been led to believe by every single postgame press conference ever ever.

I don’t really think Bosh means to imply that players shouldn’t hustle for loose balls, and I am sure he’ll spin a different story when he is inevitably asked to comment on his comments in the next day or so. But it made for a few good chuckles on a basketball-lite Sunday, so as far as I’m concerned, it’s all good.

What do you think? Was Asik’s play fair or foul?

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