Posted on: May 30, 2009 7:15 pm

Stan Van Gundy on Dwight Howard

ORLANDO -- The Orlando coach just met with media and like he does often, Van Gundy said something very interesting.

He spoke about how the numerous calls from officials on Howard has started to affect the star center.

"Now he's a little hesistant and little tentative," said Van Gundy.

What did Van Gundy tell Howard? "He needs to play and not worry about it," said Van Gundy.

What Van Gundy is doing is not only lobbying for his center he's trying to get the attention of officials.

Van Gundy added there are two reasons why Howard's number of shot blocks are down for this series. First, LeBron James is attacking Howard directly, head on. That reduces the amount of space Howard has to work with and thus engineer blocks. Second, the foul trouble limits Howard's aggresiveness.

This is smart of Van Gundy to make this an issue. If the Magic advance to the Finals then the officials might be more tentative in calling fouls on Howard.
Category: NBA
Tags: Orlando
Posted on: May 30, 2009 3:33 pm

Will the Magic choke?

ORLANDO -- I hope not. I truly hope not. I like this organization and love the head coach, Stan Van Gundy. I don't think they will.

But if the Magic lose this game tonight...

I declared the series over and the Magic will still win it but if they allow this to reach a Game 7 they are flirting with disaster.

The Magic must -- must -- win Game 6 here.

If you're Orlando do you really want to mess around with a Game 7 in Cleveland?

We'll learn a great deal about this team by how they react to having the pressure all on them and make no mistake there's been a seismic shift. Cleveland will be pretty loose tonight.

If the Magic blow this series you know who'll be the first to chime in, don't you?

Expect a Shaquille O'Neal tweet on Van Gundy immediately if that happens.
Category: NBA
Tags: Magic
Posted on: May 26, 2009 5:21 pm

Mo Williams didn't guarantee jack

ORLANDO -- All Mo Williams said was he thinks the Cavaliers can win the series. That's it. That's all. There was no guarantee.

What is Williams supposed to say? "Well, actually, I think we stink and couldn't win a pickup game against four Girl Scouts and Jose Canseco."

He's supposed to think he can win. Plus, the word guarantee was never uttered by Williams.

Williams hasn't played well in this series but he also isn't the scapegoat and I get the feeling some in the media are setting him up as the fall guy if the Cavaliers lose.

There are actually a trio of scapegoats: Williams is shooting 32.1 percent, Zydrunas Ilgauskas 38 percent and Delonte West 41 percent. LeBron James isn't getting great help from his supporting cast but it's not all on Williams.

I'll also say this for Williams. He's been a complete stand-up guy after games. He's spoken to the press after every game instead of running to hide the way some players would.

Category: NBA
Tags: Cavaliers
Posted on: May 24, 2009 6:45 pm
Edited on: May 24, 2009 7:03 pm

LeBron James hits six straight long shots

ORLANDO -- practice several hours before the game. At least I think it was six straight. I lost count at one point. They were deep three pointers too about five feet or so behind the line. He's starting to make those long shots look easy.

Category: NBA
Tags: Cavaliers
Posted on: May 24, 2009 1:51 pm

Is the Magic gone?

ORLANDO -- The Magic have shocked doubters like me and played harder and better against Cleveland than many in the media ever imagined. Now, however, there's a legitimate question to ask: How has that amazing last shot from Captain America, aka LeBron James, affected the Magic's psyche?

Stan Van Gundy believes not at all. Van Gundy thinks the Magic will put Captain America's shot in their mental waste baskets.

Yet you have to wonder if the Magic look at James and think: how in the hell do we kill this ------- guy?

And if we handle the rest of the Cleveland team will Captain America still stick a dagger is us at the end again?

If these thoughts weren't in the back of the minds of the Orlando players, they wouldn't be human.

James could soon be a full practicioner of The Jordan Effect. Jordan intimidated teams before the games even started. James is starting to head down that eternal path.

Will James psych out the Magic before Game 3 begins despite the fact Orlando could easily be up 2-0?

We'll see.

Category: NBA
Tags: Magic
Posted on: May 11, 2009 10:31 pm

Big Daddy is real Big Baby

So now we've reached a ridiculous new low in sports.

The father of a 12-year-old kid accidentally shoved by Celtics fat boy Glen Davis is demanding an apology.

If only Davis could've shoved the pops instead of the kid.

You know where this is headed: lawsuit city.

This demand from the lame father is the equivalent of the person who sued McDonald's because the coffee was too hot. It's ridiculous and indicative of our overly sensitive culture.

It was an accident, pops. An accident.

No apology is needed.

Except, now, from you to Davis for bringing this up in the first place.

Category: NBA
Tags: Celtics
Posted on: May 10, 2009 6:34 pm
Edited on: May 10, 2009 6:38 pm

Phil: watch your (expletive deleted) mouth

ESPN was showing the press conference of Phil Jackson after his Los Angeles Lakers were waxed by Houston. Jackson was defending his team's effort and asking the media to give the Rockets credit. Except Jackson said something a little more foul. He exclaimed "give them some (f-word) credit."

Jackson said it on live television and ESPN was forced to apologize for showing it.

Me? I laughed my (expletive deleted) off.

That's Jackson. He's always cursing. ESPN should know this by now.

Showing a Jackson press conference is risky business because he doesn't give a (expletive deleted) about anything.

Jackson could be speaking to a group of Boy Scouts and he'd say, "One day you'll all be (expletive deleted) Eagle Scouts."

Jackson would now like to say something to Moms everywhere:

"Happy (Expletive Deleted) Mother's Day."

Category: NBA
Tags: Lakers
Posted on: May 9, 2009 11:29 am

Chuck Daly

Perhaps the most underrated coach in recent NBA history died on Saturday morning. What he'll be remembered for is simple: Chuck Daly was able to corral some of the strongest personalities in the sport and several times formed daunting basketball powers.

I covered Daly when he coached the New Jersey Nets which had hardheaded players like Derrick Coleman and Kenny Anderson. Daly was able to get the most from those players and make the entire thig mesh. He was, at times, brilliant.

I always believed that Daly's time in New Jersey was one of the best coaching jobs of his career and that's saying something.

As coach of the Detroit Pistons he crafted a team that was tough on defense and understated in its elegance. Daly was able to reach players like the freakish Dennis Rodman, getting even him (most of the time) to fit into the Piston team concept. Those Bad Boys won two titles. It's no coincidence that after Rodman left Detroit and Daly's influence Rodman ended up in a death defying spiral, his life out of control.

As coach of the Dream Team Olympic champions Daly got an eclectic, hodepodge group of eternals to mesh.

Daly was always able to command the respect of his players while never being subservient to them or allowing them to undermine his authority. That trick is the toughest part of coaching and Daly pulled it off like a skilled magician.

That will be his legacy. He was a man who dressed sharply and coached smartly but was respected by his players. He also won championships.

Not a bad legacy. Not a bad legacy to have at all.
Category: NBA
Tags: Chuck Daly
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