The Bulls Are Nuts for Firing Thibodeau…

chicago-bulls-logo2There are many ways to describe the Chicago Bulls’ firing of head coach Tom Thibodeau.

Asinine.  Nutty.  Flat out stupid.

I mean how else should one describe firing a head coach who changed the losing culture of a post-Jordan/Phil Jackson franchise and amassed a 255-139 regular season record?

During that time star point guard Derrick Rose playing only 181 of 394 games because of injuries.  He damn near won 40 games without Rose, who was out all of last season.  Thibodeau also didn’t have power forward Joakim Noah for much of that time as well.

His teams excelled defensively, ranking first in the league in points per game (92.6) and field goal percentage (43.2) since the 2010-11 season, his first.  Oh, and Thibodeau was the 2010-2011 NBA Coach of the Year.

And despite all of those accomplishments, the front office duo of general manager Gar Forman and executive vice president John Paxson decided it was time to cut bait and move on.

Look, I understand that no matter how good you are at what you do, you HAVE to get along with your bosses.  Paxson and Forman wanted Thibodeau to dial back the minutes on Rose, Noah and Jimmy Butler due to their nagging injuries and keep them fresh for the playoffs.  Thibodeau kept blowing his bosses off largely due to Thibodeau’s tendency to coach each regular season game as if it were a Game 7.  They also wanted Thibodeau to hire an offensive lieutenant to improve the offense, which he also said “no” to.

Thibodeau grinds on players, and has not done a good job of at least adapting to the modern NBA.  That doesn’t justify Thibodeau being out of a job.  After all, does the front office care more about winning or being right?

And who will Chicago bring in to take the team further along than Thibodeau did?

Fred Hoiberg?  The college coach (Iowa State) who had two serious heart surgeries and is not even 50 years old?  Good luck with that.

This is an example of a team not learning its lessons from the past.

Remember what the organization did to Phil Jackson after he and Jordan delivered a 6th championship?  Remember when Jerry “Fat” Krause infamously said “players do not win championships, organizations do”?  Remember the following season win the Bulls won a whopping 17 games the season after running Jackson and forcing Jordan into retirement?

I easily see the Bulls going down the same road.

You can’t tell me that Paxson and Forman will find a better man to coach this team than Thibodeau.  Look for a big drop off in terms of wins and postseason success from whoever the front office chooses to be its next puppet.  Then the team will go back to its dark ages a la the post-Jordan/Jackson years.

As a wise man once said, “one who refuses to learn from history is only doomed to repeat it”.  Paxson and Forman will learn that soon enough.

Happy Memorial Day

We at The Klown Times want to wish you all a Happy Memorial Day.  Please remember the brave men and women who risk their lives for our country and freedom.  And please keep them and their families in your prayers…

A Quick (and Late) 2015 NBA Playoff Preview: the Conference Finals

254px-NBA_Logo.svg_Before I get started with this rather tardy 2015 NBA conference finals preview, let me first give the Los Angeles Clippers a quick shout-out for making me look rather stupid for picking them to win the Western Conference before the season and during these playoffs.  Now that my acknowledgement of those Cottonelle-soft choke artists is out of the way, let’s continue with this brief preview.

These conference finals represent “chalk”: the top two seeds from both conferences.  Will this “chalk” continue into the NBA Finals?  Inquiring minds want to know.

Now, without further ado…

Eastern Conference

#1 Atlanta Hawks vs. #2 Cleveland Cavaliers

Analysis:  Even though the Hawks swept the Cavs during the regular season, both teams are a bit different since then.  Atlanta played .500 ball after the All-Star break, and has not looked all that impressive in the playoffs.  Cleveland is banged up to be sure, but as long as it has LeBron James, it is all good.  Kyrie Irving at 80% is better than his counterpart Jeff Teague at 100%.  The Cavs also have a deeper bench.

Truth be told, LeBron is on a mission to get his hometown team back to the NBA Finals.  The inexperienced Hawks may be in over their heads here…

Prediction: Cavs in 6

Western Conference

#1 Golden State Warriors vs. #2 Houston Rockets

Analysis:  It wasn’t the matchup I  (and the rest of America) was looking for, but it’s still a compelling one.  It features the two top vote-getters for NBA MVP in Stephen Curry and James “Please Trim that Damn Beard” Harden.  I still think the Warriors are much deeper and tougher than the Rockets.  By the way, I know the Rockets played well tonight, but the fact that they still lost to the rusty Warriors is a bad omen for the rest of the series…

Prediction: Warriors in 5

30-Second Shot Clock a Good First Step in Men’s College B-Ball

ncaaIn the midst of the hoopla that are the NBA Playoffs and #DeflateGate, the NCAA took what I thought was a good, bold first step in improving men’s college basketball: reducing the shot clock from 35 seconds to 30.

A lot of fans and media members bemoaned the flow of an average game.  The last two minutes of a game could take up to 20 minutes.  The offense generally leaves a lot to be desired – especially if you are watching a Virginia Cavaliers or Big Ten (14) game.

I will say that while reducing the shot clock would not fix all what ails men’s college basketball, it will go a long way in fixing the flow of the game.  More offensive possessions will typically lead to more points – again, unless you are watching Cavalier and Big Ten (14) basketball.

Plus, who wouldn’t like a more up-tempo, up and down game?  That’s the way basketball was meant to be played.

Since I mentioned that a 30-second shot clock is a good first step in making men’s college ball more easy on the eyes, here are some of my other suggested fixes:

Eliminate the number of timeouts each team has in a game.  In a men’s college basketball game that is broadcasted (television, radio, or the internet), each team has one 60-second timeout and four 30-second timeouts – in addition to the media timeouts (at the first dead ball under 16, 12, 8 and 4 minutes remaining in each half).

I don’t know about you, but that’s too many damn timeouts.  Since there are the media timeouts (which is to help broadcast partners pay for the rights for those games), half the number of 30-second timeouts.

After all, the viewing public should not have to suffer through coaches calling timeouts because their teams suck.  That’s what PRACTICE is for.  Otherwise, a coach should suck it up and take his ass-whupping like a man.

Push back the three-point line.  The move would force players to become more well-rounded and encourage more movement on offense.  If the 3-point line gets moved in a bit further, there would be power forwards and centers looking to jack up threes.  Let the shooters shoot and leave the big uglies down low.

Speaking of shooters, a deeper 3-point line would allow those young men to improve their mid-range games and learn to create their own shots.  How would that be so bad for the college game?

By the way, the three-point line does not have to be as far back as the NBA game, just a bit further from what it is now.

Happy Mothers Day!

We at “The Klown Times” would like to wish the mothers and grandmothers a very Happy Mothers Day!

We all need to be grateful for our mothers for raising us and help shape us to the people we have become.  After all, they had to carry us around for nine months, so we have to be nice to them…

Tom Brady Will Be Punished for Reasons Other Than Deflategate

new-england-patriots-logoLet’s be honest about something.

If this past NFL season were not filled with so much off the field garbage (Ray Rice incident, other players beating the hell out of their women), this whole “Deflategate” nonsense would have been swept under the rug.  I mean, what QB doesn’t want his balls at certain weights and textures (snicker)?

As far as I am concerned, QBs toying with the amount of air in footballs are as common as offensive lineman holding on every play.  It’s part of the game, no big deal.

However, when you are Tom Brady and the QB of one of the most polarizing organizations in all of sports, you are treated differently.  Of course with that comes the good and the bad.

The “good” should be obvious.

Brady gets the benefit of the doubt when it comes to overall treatment from the NFL.  You could pass gas in his direction and draw a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.  Hell the NFL made a rule in how defenders should hit the QB thanks to an early season-ending injury he suffered vs. the Kansas City Chiefs.

We have never really seen the “bad” in all this, until now.

Brady has been getting all sorts of attention over his role in Deflategate since Super Bowl week.  He didn’t help himself in being evasive in answering any Deflategate questions.  And now there is talk over how this will affect his legacy as a future potential first-ballot Hall of Famer.

And this is all without any smoking guns from the Wells Report.  It’s almost as if folks were like “now we’ve got this sonofabtich on SOMETHING!  Let’s get him!”

Let me disclose something for y’all: I hate the New England Patriots.

To me, they are the Dallas Cowboys of this generation.  Their organization thrives off of living in the grey area, fudging with the rules JUST ENOUGH to give them at edge that keeps them near the top.

So this Pittsburgh Steelers fan would LOVE it if Brady’s ass is suspended at least for our opening Thursday night game.

The impending punishment Brady (and perhaps other Patriots personnel) will receive is almost like a cumulative dubious lifetime achievement award in cheating.  The illegal taping of opponents the Patriots performed seasons ago is much more egregious than deflating footballs.

Simply put, the Patriots have given us the perception that they are nothing but bonafide cheaters who have gotten away with it and have the Super Bowl titles to show for it.

Again, I think Deflategate is much ado about nothing.  But the combination of the Patriots past history of getting over and Brady not cooperating and being forthcoming with the investigators will be Brady’s undoing.

And this Patriots hater will enjoy every minute of it.

A Rather Quick 2015 NBA Playoffs Preview: Second Round

254px-NBA_Logo.svg_What an amazing first round!  By the that I mean the Clippers and Spurs series going the distance.

Homecourt advantage was nearly nonexistent in what was easily the best series in the first round.  The road team won FOUR times.  Outside of Games 1 and 3, the games came down to the last few possessions.

While it was weird to see the defending champion Spurs eliminated in the FIRST ROUND, I am excited to see what the second round holds for us fans.

Eastern Conference

1. Atlanta Hawks vs. 5. Washington Bullets

Analysis:  In Game 6 of the Nets series, the Hawks FINALLY played the complete dominant game that we have come to see from them for most of the season.  They will not get much rest going into this afternoon’s game vs. the Bullets, so fatigue may work against them.  Meanwhile, Washington looked pretty damn good in sweeping the Raptors.  The question now is will Paul Pierce punk the Hawks?  Given that the Hawks are a far better team than the Raptors, I think it’s unlikely.

Prediction: Hawks in 6

2. Cleveland Cavaliers vs. 3. Chicago Bulls

Analysis:  This should be the best series in the second round.  Two division rivals who are arguably the best teams in the East.  Oh, and they hate each other.  LeBron James sniping with Joakim Noah.  The Bulls looking to exert their physicality on the Cavs.  Much-see TV indeed.  Having said all of that, it will be tough for the Cavs to win this series without Kevin Love.  His outside shooting created space for James and Kyrie Irving to operate.  Love’s rebounding will be sorely missed as well.  And with the Bulls (namely Derrick Rose) staying healthy, and with the obvious coaching advantage Chicago has, LeBron will have a tough time getting his crew past those cats.

Prediction:  Bulls in 6

Western Conference

1. Golden State Warriors vs. 5. Memphis Grizzlies

Analysis:  This fits the classic “styles makes fights” narrative.  A high-flying, up-tempo team in Golden State facing an old-school, grinding Grizzlies.  While I do think this series will be competitive, I think the Warriors will have too much firepower (led by MVP candidate Stephen Curry and fellow sharpshooter Klay Thompson) for Memphis.

Prediction:  Warriors in 6

2. Houston Rockets vs. 3. Los Angeles Clippers

Analysis:  On the heels of the most exciting series in the first round, the Clippers may be prime for an ultimate let-down in Game 1.  The Rockets have plenty of scoring punch led by MVP candidate James Harden, but they do not have the toughness that the Clippers have.  Besides, one can’t pick a squad that employs Dwight Coward.

Prediction: Clippers in 6

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