And the condemned man ate a hearty breakfast …..

And the condemned man ate a hearty breakfast

(8)

By Tophatal

As the continued fallout continues within the NBPA (players’ union) within the NBA with the stepping down of union Executive Director Billy Hunter , the season carries on with due swiftness. The league’s showcase event the 2013 All Star Game , will be upcoming , with three days of the NBA’s best players, as well as their rookies , and a slew of other events thrown in , to entertain the fans who will be in attendance along with a global audience of millions globally . And considering the ongoing popularity of the game on global scale , especially in the Far East , it is becoming easier to understand why Commissioner David Stern continues to use some of the game’s biggest stars to raise the profile of the brand abroad , specifically in the aforementioned market.

=========================================================

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

=======================================================

Slideshow.

Now it goes without saying that this season within the NBA , it appears on the surface to be an undue success , but if you dig beneath the surface, you can certainly see that the game as it is being presented to the fans, is simply in the midst of a slump , as the quality of the play has become tiresomely inadequate and tediously boring , bordering on being inept. What might be even more asinine, while the game finds itself in such a morass , is the sheer apathy of the fans , who are trying to suggest that with this play , comes the chance to see teams we would not otherwise see , come to the forefront and simply surprise us all . Perhaps , no one team represents this more than the newly acquired Golden State Warriors (30-19) , under the ownership of billionaire financier ,Joe Lacob , and Hollywood mogul,Peter Guber. GM Bob Myers , along with special consultant and executive board member ,Jerry West , sought to hire first-time head coach, and former NBA point guard Mark Jackson to helm this young roster in the team’s coaching capacity , with Jackson’s staff made of up a number of seasoned veteran coaches , with primarily a college background.

As I alluded to earlier , the Warriors are one of the major surprises of this NBA season , seemingly coming out nowhere to make a solid if not unspectacular run in the NBA , this season. One of the more telling points of the team’s season has been their ineffective play from a defensive standpoint , with Golden State amongst the bottom feeders within the conference and NBA as a whole within this specific category, as well as the differential margin , in determining victories.

The Warriors’ roster , led by Steph Curry, Andrew Bogut , David Lee , Harrison Barnes , Carl Landry , > and Jarret Jack , have been playing with some semblance of consistency , but, in no way , would that be a true reflection what on the face of it is a young and very inexperienced roster overall. The most senior of the players , overall , would be eleven-year veteran , Richard Jefferson , who in the latter part of his career , has become something of a journeyman , providing the voice of experience for the rookies on the team.

Coming off, what was the franchise’s most humiliating loss of the season on Tuesday night , wherein their opponents , the Houston Rockets shot an astonishing 57.5% from beyond the arc , draining twenty-three of forty attempts , in three-pointers , on their way to a 140-109 drubbing of the Warriors. It is hard to see how anyone could find any solace from such an embarrassing defeat. Yet, here was , Mark Jackson , suggesting that he’s an old coach, who has a healthy respect for the game and that in some respects , he felt that the Rockets’ conduct was somewhat unsportsmanlike . Pardon me for saying this , but if , Jackson wants to teach his young players about adversity and steering defeat head on , then surely, it would have been better for him to point to the positives and negatives from that game , rather than to harangue his opponents . Furthermore , if he is seeking to take this Warriors’ franchise to the next level , wherein, they can be seen as a legitimate contender within the Pacific Division of the Western Conference , then surely during the game , and from hereon-in defense , and how his staff teaches it to these players, will have to take precedence over everything else, as it relates to the Warriors’ game and their productive output.

The Warriors’ next game will be a conference match-up against the Memphis Grizzlies at the FedEx Forum , in Memphis, Tennessee , on Friday night . . The game itself , pits two teams with postseason ambitions , and with a ½ game standing between the sixth placed Warriors and the fifth placed Grizzlies in the conference standings , it is easy to understand why this match-up will be of utmost importance to both teams.

I’ll give credit , where credit is due, but , if this is a harbinger of things to come , then I feel sorry for the fans of the Minnesota Timberwolves (18-28) ! The team , currently sits at the bottom of the Northwest Division within the Western Conference , and hopelessly out of touch with the division leading Oklahoma City Thunder (37-12). Prior , to the start of the season , so much had been made of the fact that mercurial point guard, Ricky Rubio , would be the lynch pin , that would finally see the franchise rise back up like a phoenix from the ashes . Instead , the team’s best player , forward /center , Kevin Love , has been sidelined due to injury , and with the team , now on a two game losing streak , having only managed to win two out of their last ten games . It now has me wondering, what else can , and will go wrong for the beleaguered franchise !

Timberwolves’ head coach , Rick Adelman , well-respected by his peers , is a coach who’s known to work well with younger players , but his plight with this team could very well prove to be far more difficult , than even he could have imagined , Now with the loss of Kevin Love , the situation goes from being difficult , to bordering on being impossible. As the team’s best and most productive player , Love was one of the main reasons to come out and watch this team play. Now , for owner , Glen Taylor, and GM , David Kahn, the situation , now becomes about what can now be done for the franchise to be in with even a remote chance of having some semblance of a successful season. With Love , having signed a four-year $60 million contract in 2011 , this was meant to be viewed as one of the more serious moves that the front office sought to take, in order to make this franchise a much more formidable contender within the NBA. With the season now falling apart, the unthinkable might be about to happen with David Kahn quite possibly contemplating to move the highly desirable and productive power forward , Kevin Love. The player has stated , that it is his intent to fulfill his contractual obligations with the Timberwolves and play his entire career with this organization . Yet, for all sense and purpose , if the situation remains as it now is , there is no way that Kahn or Rick Adelman , can hope to retain the player . I doubt that Kevin Love , has any desire to really remain with a franchise , where the possibility of contending for a title, is now becoming more remote, than ever before .

Next up for the Timberwolves will be a Friday night game , that pits them against the high-flying New York Knicks(31-16) , who are seeking to keep within striking distance of the Miami Heat (32-14) within the Eastern Conference for the overall number one seed . Adelman and his players can only hope to catch the Knicks an off night , they seek to even the season series between the two teams , with Mike Woodson’s players leading 1-0 , having won their first meeting of the season, when they met at Madison Square Garden , in New York City , in late December, with the Eastern Conference team coming away with a hard-fought 94-91 victory . The likely outcome , will be the Knicks once again, eking out another victory , while hoping that the Heat, find themselves on the wrong side of a loss , in their scheduled Friday night meeting with the Los Angeles Clippers at the American Airlines Arena , in Miami , Florida .

There is nothing as morbid, as watching the remnants of a multiple vehicular car accident, and then seeing the dismembered bodies lying along the highway. Suffice to say, this might be the best analogy to describe the Los Angeles Lakers ever disastrous season. One which has been filled with high drama , ridicule and more idiocy than you could ever have imagined . OK, so we are all aware of the Mike Brown dismissal five games into the season , and the claims made by GM , Mitch Kupchak , that the team was simply heading in the wrong direction under Brown . Well ,with that chapter having ended all so comically , someone forget to take their feet off the gas pedal , as another crash was about to take place , in the form of Mike D’Antoni succeeding Mike Brown. Pardon me for saying this , but if this was meant to be a sound decision, as to D’Antoni’s hiring . I would like to know, if Kupchak and his accomplice , Lakers’ SVP , Jim Buss were “ Baker enacted” after this clearly mistimed and idiotic decision and hire ?

At 23-27 (.460) , witnessing what is clearly a very bad Lakers’ team simply limp from game to game , albeit that they have won six of their last ten games , but herein lies the dilemma for Mike D’Antoni, even with the acquisition of stars, such as Dwight Howard and Steve Nash, someone forgot to remind D’Antoni and that goddamn imbecilic coaching staff of his , that the team , simply doesn’t play a lick of damn defense. And as to his continued asinine belief,, that the players will mesh together, and find a rhythm , perhaps he can try explaining that to the growing number of angry Lakers’ fans . With Kobe Bryant remaining so stoic, and yet to let loose , with an angered outburst , criticizing management , you simply know that , it will be only matter of time before the player erupts in anger and simply berates the organization. Well , he has fleetingly been critical of his teammates and their lack of effort , and it is understandable , when you consider that for the past two years at least , it simply been Bryant carrying this team on his broad shoulders. And as admirable as the games of Howard and Nash are said to be , who didn’t see this cluster f#ck coming ? The last time the Lakers tried a maneuver of this magnitude , it simply imploded , causing the team at the time to simply act like a bunch of petulant children. It should be noted that season in question , the team went to the NBA Finals of 2004 , as an evens’ favorite , seeking to make light work of the Detroit Pistons . Well as that story unfolded , someone forgot to make the Pistons aware that the script called “ for them to be submissive and to take one for the team “. The Pistons’ reply to the Lakers ___ “ take that and shove it up your ass “ !

If former Lakers’ great, Magic Johnson , has been vocal enough to be critical of both of these coaching hires , but also , having suggested that Kupchak hire former Phil Jackson assistant, Brian Shaw , to originally succeed the famed coach, when he retired from this very same franchise . If the Lakers’ hierarchy were not prepared to listen to even the positive criticism , then , it clearly shows not only how out of touch with reality the Lakers’ ownership just happens to be. The personnel decisions being made, as it concerns playing staff in recent years, have become so comical and ludicrous that one has to question the mindset of Mitch Kupchak . Should this season fall short of perceived expectations , then it is becoming increasingly clear that changes will have to be made , and many of them will be so far-reaching and bound to have some serious repercussions , that even the fans and analysts alike , will be totally taken aback by those decisions. Personally, I do not believe that Mitch Kupchak , Jim Buss or even Dr. Jerry Buss now possess the intelligence to ultimately do what is necessary ! If that were the case, then the Lakers would not now, find them in such an embarrassing situation. Someone within the Lakers’ hierarchy will have to pay for this mea-culpa . Care to guess who that will be at this juncture ?

======================================================

=====================================================

Picture gallery .

As the NBA All Star Break approaches and the schedule being in full swing with the trade deadline also in focus , what major moves if any , do you see taking place ? Also , are you of the belief that this has been a down year in the NBA in terms of the play , by way of comparison to last season ? Do take time to leave a comment , as you see fit , and thanks as always for the continued support of this site , as it has always been greatly appreciated !

😉

Picture and slideshow details below.

===========================================================

(1) Golden State Warriors forward Harrison Barnes (40) goes up for a shot while defended by Oklahoma City Thunder forward Serge Ibaka during the second quarter of an NBA basketball game in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2013. AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki …

(2) Golden State Warriors coach Mark Jackson gestures during the first quarter of an NBA basketball game against Oklahoma City Thunder in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2013. Oklahoma City won 119-98 . AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki …

(3) From left to right , senior managing partner , Joe Lacob , senior consultant, Jerry West , center and Peter Guber , owners of the Golden State Warriors . The franchise is in the midst of a reawakening of sorts and they could very well on their way to a postseason berth for the first time since 2007 . AP Photo / Richard Curtis …

(4) Injured Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Love talks to teammates during a timeout during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the San Antonio Spurs Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2013 in Minneapolis. AP Photo/Genevieve Ross …

(5) Minnesota Timberwolves guard Ricky Rubio (9) , of Spain, drives around San Antonio Spurs guard Gary Neal during the first half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2013, in Minneapolis. AP Photo/Genevieve Ross …

(6) Timberwolves’ owner Glen Taylor ,left , is seen here with Head of Basketball Operations & General Manager , David Kahn . The duo seek to resurrect the fortunes of the Minnesota Timberwolves , but with the long-term loss of forward Kevin Love , it looks as if the franchise will be in for tough season , and barely with the possibility of ending with a winning record for the year . AP /REUTERS/ Renee` Schmidt …

(7) A pensive Los Angeles Lakers head coach Mike D’Antoni pauses as he looks down court during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Boston Celtics in Boston, Thursday, Feb. 7, 2013. The Celtics won 116-95 . AP Photo/Charles Krupa …

(8) Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant (24) walks onto the court with Metta World Peace , left, and Dwight Howard during the second quarter of an NBA basketball game against the Boston Celtics in Boston, Thursday, Feb. 7, 2013. The Celtics won 116-95. AP Photo/Charles Krupa …

===========================================================

😉

If at all interested do take time to participate in the above mentioned poll.

🙂

==========================================

NBA news & archived stories

NBA standings (division)

NBA standings (conference)

NBA playoff picture (precursor)

NBA transactions 2012-13

NBA free agents

🙂

Golden State Warriors (profile)

Golden State Warriors’ front office

Golden State Warriors news

Golden State Warriors game recaps

Golden State Warriors’ roster & team stats

Golden State Warriors payroll (contracts) & annual salaries —— Golden State Warriors’ free agents

Golden State Warriors’ schedule

😉

Minnesota Timberwolves

Minnesota Timberwolves’ front office

Minnesota Timberwolves’ news

Minnesota Timberwolves’ roster & team stats

Minnesota Timberwolves’ schedule

====================================

Tushkanova-Inessa

Ukrainian actress and model , Inessa Tushkanova