Breaking news (not!) from BANGINTHEPOST…Chicago Bulls coach Vinny del Negro was fired today…again. Well, yes, Vinny will be on the Bulls’ sideline through season’s end, but his fate is a mere formality now.
Yeah, yeah. We know. Not too long ago BANGINTHEPOST reported on Vinny’s resiliency and how he should be getting some love. So what happened? Shortly after our last report, the Bulls were plagued by a slew of injuries (foot, wrist, ankles, calf…) and the next thing you know, Acie Law is starting. Ten straight losses later, the Bulls were suddenly in danger of missing the playoffs. The Bulls are finally healthy again, but they have been unable to regain their mojo. Why?
One of our most loyal followers was apparently on to something. On February 19, Phil posted critical remarks regarding Del Negro’s affinity for Brad Miller’s ball handling in crucial late game situations. To investigate Phil’s claim, BANGINTHEPOST sent four of their sharpest eyes to scout the Bulls/Buck tilt on Tuesday, April 6. Lo and behold, with the game on the line and seven seconds left, who gets the rock…Brad bleepin’ Miller! After catchin’ the ball at the top of the key, Miller did what the good Lord put him on this earth to do. Dribble! Look at the big brain on Brad! You know what happened next…turnover, Bucks ball, game over.
The best case scenario now for the Bulls is an eight seed which will translate to flushed in four by the Cavs in the first round. Secretly the Bulls hierarchy would not mind this (of course they would prefer the team be in the lottery draft) so they can finally execute their long contrived plan to fire the Vinster. Next job for Vinny will be scouting somewhere for Jordan. No, not that guy…the country!
Bye Bye Vinny.
Don’t fret too much Bulls fans. Things could be worse – you could be a Toronto Raptor fan. Oh, Canada. We hate to be the bearer of bad news, but your franchise player Chris Bosh will never wear your uniform again. Never ever!
Bosh just had surgery to repair his busted face. If the Raptors grab the eighth spot in the east, no way Bosh returns for the playoffs. Even if he was cleared to play, what’s the point? You just know a Varejao elbow finds his nose at least once while his team is getting trounced by the Cavaliers. Here’s the deal…LeBron is staying in Cleveland, Riley will lure Boozer to Miami which then convinces Wade to stay. Suddenly Bosh is the most coveted free agent left this summer. Look for Bosh to end up in Chicago playing under their new head coach…the once again recycled Doug Collins!
Bye Bye Bosh.
At least Raptor fans can look forward to beating one team in the east next year…the Detroit Pistons. We at BANGINTHEPOST did our best to cover for Joe Dumars’ mishaps last summer (July’s Say It Ain’t So), but alas, Joe the jig is up.
Dumars’ signing of Ben Gordon and Charlie Villaneuva did to the Pistons in one summer what took the auto unions decades to do to the motor city. Not even a fortuitous ping pong bounce this spring can undo the damage done in Detroit. As soon as the Davidson family can find a sap to buy the suddenly hapless franchise, well…
Bye Bye Joe D.
Okay, now some good news. Milwaukee Bucks fans will be thrilled to know BANGINTHEPOST has named Bucks head coach Scott Skiles our NBA Coach of the Year (props as well to our runner up, Alvin Gentry of the overachieving Phoenix Suns). Skiles has zero chance of receiving the NBA’s version of this award (the other Scott of Oklahoma gets that), but no doubt he prefers the kudos from us. So congrats!
Our long time listener and frequent caller Big Bob has been touting Skiles achievements the last two months. Big Bob, BANGINTHEPOST is officially on board. Vegas predicted a measly 27 victories for the Bucks before the season began. Who knew then that Milwaukee’s lottery pick from the year before (Joe Alexander) would completely fall off the map this year and that their best player, Michael Redd, would re-tear the same ACL he had reconstructed the season before (yo, Mike, who is your surgeon, Dr. Seuss?).
Somehow, someway Gutty Gritty Scotty Skiles has coaxed 45 wins thus far out of a roster of vagabonds and one skinny ass rookie. A week ago, BANGINTHEPOST was just about to release to print our playoff preview with our upset special being the Bucks eliminating the Celtics in Round 1. But then Andrew fell down and went boom. Bogut’s horrific fall after a dunk against the Phoenix Suns (a game in which the Bucks snapped the Suns 10 game winning streak) pretty much broke or dislocated everything on his body. C’est la vie.
Bye Bye Bogut. Bye Bye Bucks.
Stan “the Man” Van Gundy was recently politicking for his boy Dwight Howard as league MVP. Stan then mumbled that in reality LeBron will probably win the next ten. He just may. News flash for you Kobe clinger-on-ners…LeBron is the best player on the planet (has been for two years now) and it really isn’t even close anymore. So, to keep things interesting, we are treating the MVP like the NBA does for all-star coaches – can’t be chosen in consecutive years. Without further adieu, we are proud to announce Kevin Durant as BANGINTHEPOST’s NBA MVP. It took a couple of years, but Durant (in all 190 lbs of him) is treatin’ the NBA like he’s back in the Big 12. Much like LeBron, the NBA has never seen the likes of a Kevin Durant. Maybe a more athletic George Gervin at nearly 7 feet tall? KD is officially unguardable.
Durant’s emergence is bad news for the rest of the league, but particularly for the Portland Trailblazers and Greg Oden. Hey, we hate to kick a man when he is down, but even when healthy, Oden was never the force most predicted. Someone has to be the first to say it…Greg Oden is Sam Bowie. That makes Durant you know who. Ouch Portland! That is now twice in just over two decades. We are crossing our fingers for Greg to be healthy next season, but it is not too early to conclude…
Bye Bye next Bill Russell.
How much time do you think Lakers’ GM Mitch Kupchak spent this summer figuring out where to put his forthcoming executive of the year trophy? Kupchak managed to re-sign Lamar Odom and added free agent Ron Artest into the mix. (By the way, Joe D., he did this for less than the amount you gave to Ben Gordon.) The defending champs were now a lock to not only repeat this year but possibly start a run like the Bulls’ teams of the 90s. But after a blazing start to the season, the Lakers have been sputtering along the second half of the season and look terribly vulnerable. What went so wrong since last summer?
Two simple answers, folks. First, part of Phil Jackson’s success has always been that he treats his twelve man rotation like a youth soccer league. Everybody gets to play and everybody contributes at some point. Dozens of players over the years are indebted to Jackson for his finding the perfect role for them on his teams. (See Kerr, Hodges, Perdue, Paxson, King, Shaw, Fox, Horry, Salley) No matter how seemingly limited some of his players were, he could always get something out of them when needed. Not anymore. The Lakers managed to win the championship last year in spite of very little from their bench – with the exception of Trevor Ariza. Well, with Ariza gone, Jackson can’t stand peering beyond Lamar while looking down his bench. The Lakers are attempting to win a championship with five and a half players. The half of course is the oft injured Andrew Bynum. Even when healthy, Bynum plays more like the kid from The Blind Side (before Sandra Bullock started whoopin’ ass!), than a starting center on a championship team.
The second reason the Lakers will not repeat is much simpler…Ron Artest. Do you really think David Stern wants Artest wearing a championship ring? Imagine how much damage he would do to the next fan he punches with that bling on his finger. (See Chris Bosh) Kobe might will his team back to the finals, but in the end the King finally gets his ring. (And Shaq steals another one.) The Cavs in 6.
Bye Bye Lakers dynasty.
BANGINTHEPOST would like to be the first to congratulate long-suffering Cleveland sports fans. Enjoy the ride the next several weeks, Cavs fans!