Coach Swap 2012

The LA Clippers and Orlando Magic are in quite the predicament, they are both playoff caliber teams, with coaching conundrums.

The Situations

The LA Clippers;

The LA Clippers were just swept by the Spurs, now in their defense, they were in a position they’re not quite use to… The second round of the playoffs. Now most people would be content with this finish, but the Clippers have the talent to make a title run, the thing that is holding them back is their coach, Vinny Del Negro. VDN is a great players coach, but lacks the ability to teach core fundamental basketball, this will greatly affect the Clippers. “Lob City” doesn’t win championships, fundamental basketball does, the Spurs are living breathing proof of this. So if the Clippers wanna win an NBA championship, they gotta get rid of VDN and bring in a coach prepared to coach the fundamentals of basketball.

Orlando Mgic

As of today the Magic fired their coach Stan Van Gundy, SVG was fired after a long marital spout with all star/diva centre Dwight Howard. This past season Howard had been taking in the sites of all the potential teams he’d like to play for and ridiculed his coach the entire time. This led to a lot of tension and a few awkward interviews. Howard and SVG never seemed to get along, probably because Howard is a laid back guy who wants a laid back coach. SVG on the other hand is an old school basketball coach who likes to play fundamental basketball (you can see where there might be a clash). All this tension and so forth led to the ultimate firing of SVD, even though Howard will probably leave during the Offseason anyway.

The Proposal;

Although you can’t actually trade coaches per say, plus SVD just got canned. I propose a coach switch, where SVD would coach the Clippers and VDN would coach the Magic. SVD could teach that fundamental basketball I was preaching and turn the Clippers from just a highlight reel to a real contender. WHile SVD would be contending for championships, VDN could be cheering up a bummed out Dwight Howard. VDN is a players coach and exactly the type of coach Howard would want if he were to ever stay in Orlando.

-McFultz

NBA Playoffs Round 1

The shortened NBA season has ended and the playoffs are upon us, so it’s time for me to make my picks.

Eastern Conference

1. Chicago Bulls vs 8. Philadelphia 76ers

Pick: Bulls Vernon Smells pick: Bulls

 I don’t think theres much debate in this game. The Bulls are the heavy favorite and will win. I can see the 76ers winning 1 or 2 games but without Allen “We talkin’ bout’ practice” Iverson, the Bulls should take this series pretty easily.

2. Miami Heat vs 7. NY Knicks

Pick: Heat Vernon Smells Pick: Heat

The knickerbockers had a great finish to the season that put them in the playoffs. They were able to get to a 7th seed and are looking to make a mark in the playoffs and avoid and early exit. The problem for them is that they’re playing the Miami Heat (whom I believe will win it all). The Heat will win this series 4-2. the reason they’ll win is because Lebron is going to have the greatest playoffs of his career, he is just gonna go out and completely dominate. Plus with a missing Jeremy Lin, the Knicks will once again be faced with PG problem throughout the playoffs

3. Indiana Pacers vs 6. Orlando Magic

Pick: Pacers Vernon Smells Pick: Magic

The Magic recently lost star center Dwight Howard, and this will prove to be a critical blow. Howard is one of the best centers in the NBA but for the rest of these playoffs he will be resting on his couch in LA watching his team play. The Pacers are also a team that has been looked over due to their “boring” play style. But they are a team who should not be looked over and will be looking to make a deep run this year. I see the Pacers winning 4-1. Paul George is serious, watch out for him to be a superstar in years to come

4. Celtics vs 5. Hawks

Pick: Celtics Vernon Smells Pick: Hawks

You’d think the Celtics would finally turn over due to their old age, but one again the Celtics are in the playoffs. i think this will be the last year for the original big 3, so they know whats at stake. the Celtics should be able to take the Hawks. I have very little faith in the Hawks actually winning the series but I think they’ll give the Celtics a run for their money due to their young and agile play. They remind me of an Eastern Conference version of Lob City. The Celtics will take this series 4-3

Western Conference 

1. Sacramento Spurs vs 8. Utah Jazz

Pick: Spurs Vernon Smells Pick: Spurs

The Spurs are not looking for a first round exit like last years playoffs, luckily for them they aren’t playing the Grizzlies again. The Spurs will win this series, the Jazz are a young team and still learning the ropes so these playoffs will be a good learning experience, but thats it. The Spurs will take this series 4-1

2. Oklahoma City Thunder vs 7. Dallas Mavericks

Pick: OKC Vernon Smells pick: OKC

 The Thunder have this series in the bag. Dallas looks old, Dirk is not looking like the Dirk of old (which really affected my fantasy team, in which Vernon Smells won with an undefeated season). The Thunder will dominate this series and hopefully it will be in this series where Westbrook learns to dish the ball to star player Kevin Durant. The Thunder will take this series 4-0.

3. LA Lakers vs  6. Denver Nuggets

Pick: Nuggets Vernon Smells Pick: Lakers

This is my first upset pick of the playoffs and it could be completely wrong. I think the main reason I chose the Nuggets is that I just can’t stand Kobe and the Lakers. I do think the lack of a PG on the Lakers will affect them and that Kobe is going to see that he really can’t do it all by himself. The Nuggets have been a great team all year and they think they could really pull this upset off. I see the Nuggets taking this series 4-3

4. Memphis Grizzlies vs 5. LA Clippers

Pick: Grizzlies Vernon Smells Pick: Clippers

I have the Grizzlies going to play the Heat in the NBA finals, so they must beat the Clippers. Both these two teams were in my original bandwagon article and after last seasons victory over the Spurs, I knew the Grizzlies were a team to be reckoned with. Although the Clippers are the most exciting team to watch they lack defense and basketball fundamentals, many attribute this to VDN who refuses to teach them more than how to just dunk the ball and do alley-oops. I see the Grizzlies winning this series 4-2.

Check in after the first round to see how my picks played out.

 

-McFultz

The League- Basketball- Week 4 Recap

Every year, at the beginning of the four major sports seasons (Hockey, Basketball, Football and Baseball) the staff here at Critics From The Couch, along with other various other friends partake in some friendly Fantasy action. At the moment we are in the middle of the NHL and NBA seasons. We play on Yahoo Sports(wouldn’t recommend it however) therefor Yahoo rules are applied. Our NHL league is kind of messed up, because rather than head-to-head we used rotisserie , which in my opinion is much less fun, but for the record, I’m in second place. Anyways, our Basketball league is in full swing, and it is head-to-head, so as the commissioner of The League, I feel it is my duty to keep the public informed about our league. How the league works is there are nine major stat categories(FG%, FT%, 3PTM, PTS, REB, AST, BLK, STL, TO) and you change opponents every week, and each stat category counts as one game, for example if after the week is over you are beating your opponent in seven of the nine stat categories, and he’s beating you in 2, your record for the week would be 7-2. There are also trades free agents, and waivers. So let’s start with the standings

1. Kipling Ronald           30-6-0
2. Gonzo                         25-11-0
3. Vernon Smells (me)   24-12-0
4. Soulless Sensation   17-19-0
——————————–
playoffs
5. McFultz                       17-19-0
6. other A                         16-20-0
7. other B                         14-22-0
8. other C                         13-23-0
9. zookeeper                  13-23-0
10. other D                       11-25-0                    

As you can tell, the race for that fourth playoff spot is up for the grabs, where as Kipling Ronald is already all but assured a playoff spot early in the year. Gonzo and myself were tied every week until this one, as he won 1 more game than I did, but through the first 4 weeks of the season the top 3(Kipling Ronald, Gonzo and myself) have yet to face each other, but that’s all about to change, as I face off against Gonzo this week, followed by Kipling Ronald, and then 3 weeks later Gonzo and Kipling Ronald face off themselves. Even though it’s still early in the year, these 3 games will be key in determining the true identities of our teams. Let’s check out last weeks scores.

Vernon Smells 6
Other A              3

McFultz 5
Other B  4

Other C 2
Gonzo  7

Kipling Ronald 9
zookeeper        0

Soulless Sensation 7
Other D                      2

This was a pretty important week, as you can see. Just a couple weeks after being dead last in the league, the soulless sensation took home a solid 7-2 victory to boost himself up all the way to a playoff spot. Kipling Ronald came up with the first clean sweep of the season to secure his lead even more, and Gonzo had a nice 7-2 victory to claim sole possession of second place. Let’s take a look at the games this week.

Vernon Smells
Gonzo

McFultz
Other A

Kipling Ronald
Other C

Soulless Sensation
zookeeper

Other B
Other D

We have a big week, as Gonzo and myself fight for second place, McFultz and Soulless Sensation each fight in their own battles for that 4th playoff spot, and Kipling Ronald goes for another sweep.

I will be doing these posts weekly, as one will be released every week, sometime Monday-Wednesday. Follow the action week by week as the chase for the “we haven’t decided on a name yet” Trophy heats up. In case you’re interested, here are our rosters. In no particular order, but lineups are set every night with 1 PG, 1 SG, 1 G, 1 SF, 1 PF, 1 F, 2 C, 2 Utility, 3 Bench

Vernon Smells
 Kyrie Irving, PG
Jason Terry PG, SG
Mo Williams PG
Russell Westbrook, PG
Danilo Gallinari, SF
Richard Jefferson, SF
Paul George, SF, SG
Paul Pierce, SF, SG
Carlos Boozer, PF, C
Kevin Love, PF, C
Serge Ibaka, PF, C
Joakim Noah, PF, C
Spencer Hawes, C

Kipling Ronald
Kyle Lowry, PG
Marcus Thornton, SG
Louis Williams, PG, SG
Gerald Wallace, SF, PF
Paul Millsap, PF
David Lee, PF, C
Samuel Dalembert, C
Pau Gasol, PF, C
Mario Chalmers, PG
Al Jefferson, PF, C
Luol Deng, SF
Ryan Anderson, PF, C
Elton Brand, PF, C

Gonzo
Deron Williams, PG
Iman Shumpert, PG, SG
Jrue Holiday, PG
Antawn Jamison, SF, PF
Deandre Jordan, PF, C
Joe Johnson, SG, SF
Chris Bosh, PF, C
Tim Duncan, PF, C
Tony Parker, PG
Brandon Jennings, PG
Marshon Brooks, SG, SF
Dwight Howard, C
Andre Miller, PG

Soulless Sensation
Monta Ellis, PG, SG
Ray Allen, SG
Devin Harris, PG
LeBron James, SF, PF
Josh Smith, SF, PF
Kevin Garnett, PF, C
Nene Hilario. PF, C
Tyson Chandler, C
Byron Mullens, C
Tony Allen, SG, SF
Andy Rautins, PG
Taylor Griffin, SF, PF
Zydrunas Ilgauskas, C

McFultz
Darren Collison, PG
Nicolas Batum, SG, SF
Jason Kidd, PG
Shawn Marion, SF, PF
David West, PF
C.J. Miles, SG, SF
Marc Gasol, C
Andray Blatche, PF, C
Ricky Rubio, PG
Stephen Curry, PG
Steve Nash, PG
Jason Richardson, SG, SF
Dirk Nowitzki, PF

zookeeper
John Wall, PG
DeMar Derozan, SG, SF
D.J. Augistin, PG
Danny Granger, SF, PF
Thaddeus Young, SF, PF
Carl Landry, SF, PF
Blake Griffin, PF, C
Andrea Bargnani, PF, C
Tristan Thompson, PF
Leonardo Barbosa, PG, SG
Ben Gordon, PG, SG
James Harden, SG, SF
Al Harrington, PF, C

 

-Vernon Smells

 

 

The key to picking a bandwagon for the 2012 NBA season

Image

As a casual NBA fan, every year I have difficulty choosing which bandwagon to hop on for that season. I’ve gone from the Suns, Raptors, Cavaliers and yes, the Heat. So the top 4 bandwagons this year are:

 

 

 

1) The Los Angeles Clippers

PPG:96.92

The LA Clippers are the ultimate bandwagon team, they’re full of points and highlights…And you clearly only like them for that fact; there’s no emotional attachment at all. The Clippers had a great team even before the almighty Stern granted them CP3. With Blake Griffin (easily the most exciting basketball player in the NBA right now), Deandre Jordan (whose been known to put in some highlights of his own), Chauncey Billups (a man who couldn’t take the New York lifestyle so he decided to move to the small town of Los Angeles) and Eric Bledsoe. Even that team right there would’ve been a highlight factory but then they added CP3 and created Lob City. With a name like that you know they are worth your time as they just Dunk!

 

2) The Miami Heat

PPG: 107.23

The Miami Heat… The Dream Team… The greatest team ever assembled… The team that went 82-0 and and won the NBA championship 200-10 over the old Dallas Mavericks. Oh wait sorry, those last two things never happened, ANYWAYS, the Miami Heat is a highlight factory of their own with the big named stars; Lebron James (one of the greatest NBA players of all time), Dwayne Wade (easily in the top 3 for best shooting guards in the NBA) and Chris Bosh (Although Bosh has gotten flack from writers and Shaq; let’s not forget this is the man who single handedly brought the Raptors to NBA playoffs. Let me say that again the Raptors.) There is only one major flaw for liking the Heat. You clearly jumped on their bandwagon last season and most fans will see you as a total DICK.

3) Memphis Grizzlies

PPG: 93.54

The Grizzlies had a beautiful Cinderella story last year knocking off the Spurs in the first round playoffs. But beyond that there isn’t much other than having Marc Gasol, Pau Gasol’s less attractive and less talented brother. They’re like Rick Santorum; they’ll have a nice Cinderella story but you know there’s no way they’ll win.

PPG: 94.57

The Timberwolves are by far the team I’m most excited about. This team consists of Kevin Love (who dominates in almost all stat categories), Ricky Rubio (who is the #1 rookie at the moment), Michael Beasley and Derrick Williams. Now this bandwagon can be the sleeper pick of the year or could easily miss the playoffs. The real beauty of hopping on this teams’ bandwagon is the fact that no one will EVER call you on this. Who would doubt a Minnesota Timberwolves fan? Are they supposed to call you on the fact you like a team that went 17-65 last season?

-McFultz