Walking a mile in someone’s shoes, isn’t as easy as first thought

Walking a mile in someone’s shoes, isn’t as easy as first thought

With the NBA Playoffs still taking shape , several teams have now made it to the next round with the conference semi-finals set to begin as of Tuesday , 5th May. Yet, the biggest story of the Playoffs has nothing to do at all with the play of the teams, but the rather surprising decision was the firing of Scott Brooks by the Oklahoma City Thunder front office , led by GM Sam Presti. The decision had the blessing of the team’s best player Kevin Durant , who acknowledged Brooks’ contributions to the franchise’s success and his own growth and success as a player and as a draftee by the Thunder.

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Billy Donovan, having formally been introduced as the new head coach of the Oklahoma City Thunder , answers questions from the convened press at the Chesapeake Energy Center , Oklahoma City , Oklahoma . Donovan has signed a lucrative five-year deal with the franchise, The main objective for the Thunder will be to secure the services of Kevin Durant signing him to a max contract , building the roster around the reigning League MVP and teammate Russell Westbrook . AP Photo/ Chris Wright

Scott Brooks should not be solely to blame for the team’s missing of the NBA Playoffs , with the loss of Kevin Durant due to a season-ending injury. A loss of this magnitude , would have a profound effect on any team, but somehow this all seems to have been overlooked by the front office as well as the senior partners who make up the ownership group of the Western Conference based franchise.

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Sam Presti has been quick to hire a successor to Scott Brooks, with the organization formally announcing the hire of Billy Donovan , the two-time NCAA National Tournament championship winning coach of the Florida Gators . If Donovan brings along with him the type of coaching acumen seen with the collegiate program , then the continued success of the Oklahoma City Thunder would seem assured. Kevin Durant for his part , I believe will remain with the franchise , rather than seeking to opt out of the final year of his contract with the franchise !

Of the first round series still in force, perhaps the most competitive and thrilling might happen to be the Western Conference series between the Los Angeles Clippers and the defending NBA champions the San Antonio Spurs. The series has been encapsulated by the play of two seasoned veterans, point guard Chris Paul of the Clippers and power forward, Tim Duncan of the Spurs.

With their series tied at three games apiece (3-3) the series’ deciding seventh game will be played at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California on 2nd May, 2015 in front of a sellout crowd likely to be cheering on the home team. For Clippers’ head coach Doc Rivers the emphasis will be about having his players prepared as they meet the onslaught likely to be thrown at them by Gregg Popovich and this Spurs’ team . These are two evenly matched teams , competitive at almost every position on the court , but it all now comes down to willpower and being able to meet adversity square on , without flinching. History indicates, the team winning game six of a Playoff series’ more often than not , takes with them the advantage going into the deciding contest and it would appear the advantage now lies with the Los Angeles Clippers. Yet, it would take a bold individual to believe the San Antonio Spurs can be counted out of this series altogether.

When Derrick Rose of the Chicago Bulls went down to what was believed to a season-ending injury , no one believed the former League MVP would be making a return to the team’s lineup during the NBA Playoffs. Rose has been instrumental in getting the Bulls into the position, where they have made it to the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals , having destroyed the Milwaukee Bucks in their series (4-2) , with an emphatic game-six win , where the margin of victory, was an astounding fifty-four points with the 120-54 destruction of the Bucks.

Old rivalries will be renewed when the Cleveland Cavaliers play host to the Chicago Bulls in game one of their Eastern Conference Semi-Finals’ Series . Nemesis’ LeBron James and Derrick Rose may well go head to head , but I believe the play of Jimmy Butler will be so pivotal in this series !

The Cavaliers will be without Kevin Love for this series, after the player’s injury, suffered during the series against the Boston Celtics in what appeared to be a provocative and deliberate attempt by the Celtic’ Kelly Olynyk to injure the Cavaliers’ power forward . Olynyk denies the claims, his intent was to injure the player, with the game officials failing to act and the league hierarchy failing to penalize Kelly Olynyk . The NBA Playoffs will once again be questioned, as to ongoing ineptitude of the officiating and the league’s failure to act.

I have never been enamored with the NBA’s referees, as I believe them to be far too willing to be part of the problem, rather than simply showing their acumen and knowledge of the game. Inconsistent officiating, with the ongoing stupidity, first shown by former NBA Commissioner David Stern, to repeatedly back the referees, has simply indicated the NBA remains behind the times and that Stern’s all too autocratic rule, has now led to the ruination of not only the NBA , but also the quality of the game itself.

I was once told, is was not David Stern’s fault for the lackluster quality of the play within the NBA , but almost at every juncture, with regard to the countless rule hanges made over the past fifteen years, Stern’s imprints have been there for everyone to see. Only a complete idiot, would believe the now retired league executive , was not to be faulted.

Fate may well deal someone a blow this season, with regard to a number of the regular season NBA Awards to be handed out . Mike Budenholzer won the NBA Coach of The Year Award . Andrew Wiggins was named NBA Rookie of The Year and Kawhi Leonard beat out Draymond Green for NBA Defensive Player of the Year , but the the league’s most important regular season individual award might well end up being a bone of contention, once the recipient has been announced for the League MVP. Leading contenders for this season’s award, are Steph Curry, James Harden , Russell Westbrook and the four-time League MVP winner, LeBron James .

For LeBron James , I believe this might well be his most crucial season yet in the NBA , where as the two-time Finals’ MVP and the perennial face of the NBA since 2003 , and the pressure will be on the All Star to lead the Cleveland Cavaliers to an NBA title , in what would be the first in the franchise’s history. James’ legacy has been set, wealth accumulated and global icon status few North American born athletes have reached over the past decade , with the exception of Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Floyd Mayweather and Kobe Bryant .

It would be remiss to believe that the Cavaliers are likely to have their way with the Chicago Bulls in the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals’ Series. With the loss of Kevin Love , I believe this tilts the scales slightly towards the Bulls and the fact, Tom Thibodeau is a vastly more experienced coach than his Cleveland counterpart David Blatt . Cavaliers’ point guard Kyrie Irving will be expected to raise the level of his play in this series if the Cleveland Cavaliers are to prevail.

If LeBron James and his teammates do fail, then the crescendo likely to heard will be deafening, and one of criticism not only of the player (James) , but also the fact the roster was essentially made up of mercenaries acquired to be at the beck and call of James’ self-absorbed ambitions, with his seeking redemption after last season’s NBA Finals’ comedic fiasco against the San Antonio Spurs.

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As the NBA Playoffs have progressed which player , players , team or teams, have impressed you the most ? Finally, which pairing in the NBA Finals, do you believe will offer a compelling and competitive series ? Chime in with your thoughts as you see fit.

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Tophatal

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This month in NBA history

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Editor’s notes :

 

15 thoughts on “Walking a mile in someone’s shoes, isn’t as easy as first thought

  1. This is the time of the the year where legacies are made and teams with genuine ambition and competitive guile , rise to the occasion .

    I don’t know that there is a team in the East or West capable of beating the Golden State Warriors based on their current play .

    The longer fans are kept waiting, concerning the formal announcement of this season’s League MVP , the likelihood of fans’ disapproval seems less and less likely.

    Over the last eighteen years , I believe the biggest fraud perpetrated concerning the award (League MVP) , was the year it was won by Karl Malone over Bulls’ icon and legend Michael Jordan . To this day. the decision cannot be succinctly explained by anyone involved in casting a vote that year . Makes you wonder if the adjudicators were being heavily prescribed any type of medication legit or illicit ?

    Is there really anything else that needs to be said concerning the 1996-97 NBA season ?

    Malone over Jordan ? Who the ##ck believes Karl Malone had a better individual season than Michael Jordan that year ?

    NBA news

    NBA results 1st May

    Tophatal …………

    Like

  2. The Brooklyn Nets have ninety-nine problems and they all have to deal with the fact the team isn’t worth $hit . They had their @sses spanked and handed to them on a silver platter by the Atlanta Hawks in their first round series .

    Way to go Nets’ and your sorry-ass front office led by owner Mikhail Prokhorov and GM Billy King . You @ssholes couldn’t tell the difference between chicken #hit and chicken liver .

    NBA news

    NBA results 1st May , 2015

    2015 NBA Playoff Picture

    😉

    The only bigger bust than the Brooklyn Nets were these pair of ta-ta’s . I know which bust I’d prefer to be looking at all the time and it isn’t the goddamn Nets , that’s for sure !

    o_O

    Tophatal …………

    Like

  3. The task at hand for the San Antonio Spurs today , get the job done or go home . Nothing more needs to be said .

    Tied at three games apiece (3-3) the winner of the series moves unto the Western Conference Semi-Finals where the winner gets to meet the Houston Rockets .

    In game seven between the Clippers and the Spurs , there has to be an even greater contribution from both Manu Ginobli as well as Tony Parker and Boris Diaw . if the visiting team team is to prevail in this contest .

    NBA Western Conference Standings

    Tophatal …………

    Like

  4. Donovan will struggle. the college game is totally different than the NBA. the pace and structure of the game is different. I think he can succeed if given time. The hard art will be winning the respect of the players.

    Like

    1. bobby

      I don’t believe Billy Donovan will not have a problem coaching this team , because there are no egos on the roster. Kevin Durant and Russell Westrbook are extremely mature players . GM Sam Presti is old school and a protege of Gregg Popovich , with his having worked with him as a former member of the Spurs’ front office .

      Also bear in mind the two national titles won , Donovan did that with players who were level headed and very much in a similar vain as this current group of Thunder players.

      Tophatal ………

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  5. If Billy Donovan can coach in a conference that produces the top talent in the nation , then why wouldn’t you believe he isn’t capable of coaching in the NBA ? He’s far better than several coaches currently in the league , namely , Derek Fisher with the New York Knicks .

    Fisher coached the Knicks to one of the worst records in the league this past season . Is there anything else which needs to be said beyond Phil Jackson being an egotistical @ss ?

    Oklahoma City Thunder news

    🙂

    Tophatal ………

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  6. Last night the defending champions bowed out& of the NBA Playoffs for this year with a gut-wrenching loss to the Los Angeles Clippers in the Western Conference Quarter Finals .

    This might be the last time the trio of Manu Ginobli , Tony Parker and Tim Duncan are seen together in a postseason setting for the five time championship winning San Antonio Spurs . Their two-point loss by the slimmest of margins brought to an end one of the great modern-day dynasties of the NBA . The Clippers now go on to face the Houston Rockets in the conference semi-finals .

    NBA news

    NBA results 2nd May

    NBA Western Conference Final Playoffs Standings

    Playoffs stats’ leaders

    🙂

    Tophatal ………….

    Like

  7. So what was meant to be a thrilling fight ended as just another boring day at the office , as Floyd Mayweather beat Manny Pacquiao without a great deal of hesitation.

    Pacquiao in his post-fight interview, made rather ineffective excuses behind the reasons for his loss , with his having sustained a shoulder injury during the bout . There is unlikely to be a rematch between the two veteran fighters as there was nothing at all thrilling about the contest .

    Floyd Mayweather fought skillfully , without being put under any pressure during the title fight. Mayweather with his record intact , walks away with an estimated and reputed $155 million for his night’s work. The figure is likely to be a great deal higher for the Las Vegas’ based fighter.

    Boxing news (USA Today)

    Tophatal …………….

    Like

  8. The conference semis have begun in the NBA Playoffs and everything now points to not only some classic games but also some tremendous series . This could end up being one of the best postseasons in recent NBA history .

    For the idiots now questioning the merits of Steph Curry’s win of this season’s NBA League MVP , will the doubters simply take a look at the player’s stats in comparison to those of the main contenders , and specifically James Harden’s season , though impressive , he still didn’t match the all round consistency of Curry’s , who also happens to be a better defender than Harden . If you can’t equate that as integral part of the game then those who are still rambling on with their idiocy of the Golden State player’s win , really do need to take a chill pill or simply shut the fu#k up once and for all.

    NBA

    NBA results 3rd May 2015

    Tophatal …….

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    1. Chris Humpherys

      Billy Donovan’s departure I believe had nothing to do with lack of desire but it came about bringing his talents to the professional level . Going to the Oklahoma City Thunder , provides Donovan with the chance to coach two of the best young players in the game, as well as having one of the best general managers in the game , with Sam Presti in charge of Player Personnel Operations for the franchise .

      Tophatal …………

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  9. Saturday and Sunday’s games in the NBA proved to be fortuitous for the teams who were victorious but it still has not completely cleared the picture within the Eastern and Western Conference.

    Do you get the feeling that both number one seeds within the East and West are now having problems with both the Atlanta Hawks and Golden State Warriors down 2-1 in their respective series .

    NBA

    NBA results 9th May 2015

    NBA results 10th May, 2015

    NBA Playoffs stats leaders

    Tophatal …………….

    Like

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