Raptors fans basking in the demise of the Clippers; it s the Curse Of The Braves perhaps
|Toronto Star 16 Sep 2020 at 10:36|
Okay, maybe not, but there sure is something stopping that organization from even playing for a conference championship let alone an NBA title and I don’t know where they go from blowing a 3-1 lead against Denver and going out so meekly last night.
“Kawhi, you barfed up a 3-1 lead, where do you go from here?”
“Back to L.A., see my family.”
One thing they have to do is come up with some better excuses, or at least man up and take responsibility for their failings because the pap they were spewing last night was embarrassing.
Paul George saying this wasn’t a “championship or bust” season? Come on, that’s a crock.
Lou Williams saying it was hard integrating two new stars from two new teams in season? Those pepper wings got to his brain because that’s balderdash.
Kawhi Leonard decrying a lack of basketball IQ? Score a fourth quarter bucket, pal, that’s how you look smarter.
I don’t know what the solutions are, although if I’m Doc Rivers I’m nervous and what transpired last night basically sews up the executive of the year award for Sam Presti, I’d say.
But, you know, the story is actually the Nuggets because, man, what they did was something else.
Twice – not once, twice! – they wiped out 3-1 deficits and won series and I would imagine they are, at worst, every basketball fan’s second favourite team.
Nikola Jokic is out there throwing no-look, over-the-head, backwards passes for layups up 20 in a closeout games and that’s just rude.
Jamal Murray’s hitting off-balance, on-the-run, closely-guarded three point daggers because the kid’s has nether a conscience or any fear.
Mike Malone rails about not being allowed to have his family with him and then coaches he hell out of a team that’s a bunch of guys and two starters and beats a heavily-favoured opponent.
What’s not to like?
So what we’ve got out of that series is one team ascending and one descending and a whole lot of people are assuredly happy about that.
Now, I don’t harbour too much ill will against Leonard – he wanted to go home and he went home and while there are justifiable basketball regrets, I cannot imagine there are any personal regrets and he should be encouraged to be happy in his life.
I quite like Doc Rivers, everyone does, but his coaching record is taking continual hits and I wonder how long being a nice guy guarantees employment.
Dee Brown’s on the front office staff and I always liked Dee and I hope he does well.
Lawrence Frank? He’s smarmy and his stalking of Kawhi a year ago was unprofessional and unbecoming and his feet have to be held to the fire.
Steve Ballmer? I admire team owners who go for it but I think he’s over-the-top crowing about it was unseemly, his demeanour is, to me, off-putting and I am not at all upset that he’s looking at organizational carnage today.
I think if there are over-arcing lessons that we should take away from they are these:
• Good teams are often greater than the sum of their athletic parts.
• Good teams tend to go about their business without creating too much “noise” about themselves.