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Everything posted by lethalweapon3

  1. ^FAN QUIZ ANSWER! http://www.atlantafilmsociety.org/blog/2018/7/25/atlanta-film-society-announces-cal-bowdler-as-new-chairman-of-board-of-directors ~lw3
  2. “Lil’ Brow?” Wow! #AD2ATL. Let’s get the hashtag rolling! I’ve had my fill of the “2LA”, “2NYC”, “2DC”, “2CHI” fanfare we’ve had to endure over the past decade. It is time for our Atlanta Hawks to dust off the heavy artillery, hop on Signal or whatever clandestine tools the cool kids are using these days, and start dancing with the big boys to woo the biggest kahunas in free agency. Everyone knows there is no bigger catch next summer than Anthony Davis, currently in Los Angeles to help LeBron James and the Hawks’ opponent today, the Lakers (9:30 PM Eastern, Fox Sports Southeast and 92.9 FM in ATL, Spectrum SportsNet in LAX), place another trophy on their shelves. After that, who knows? All I know is, Tony Ressler is chomping at the bit to put his money where his mouth has long been, and Travis Schlenk has set up shop to make a run at the premier veteran talent around the league, in 2020 and the seasons soon to follow. The Bag, bigger than anyone else’s, will be here in The 404, and a growing legion of supportive fans will, too. Let’s get this show on the roAD. Understood, it’s awfully hard to walk away from the enterprising Mr. James and his age-defying near triple-double averages (24.3 PPG, an astounding NBA-best 11.1 APG, 7.7 RPG). The omnipresent threat of LeBron doing anything unmercifully highlight-worthy to his opponents (just ask Nomoreja Bjelica) has allowed him to set up all his teammates for great shots (NBA-high 47.8 team FG%), especially right at the rim (32.4 team 3FG%, 25th in NBA; 3rd in Restricted-Area FGAs, 29th in non-RA paint FGAs). But there is one much younger star, still on the back end of his rookie-scale deal, who isn’t going to overcrowd the paint, or the salary confines for years, while dishing out nearly as many dimes. Further, he won’t need any formal introduction to Davis (25.5 PPG; probable tonight despite a constantly sore shoulder) when the time comes to pretend that we’re not tampering. (HAWKS FAN QUIZ: Which former tampering Hawks employee currently chairs the board of the Atlanta Film Society? Just in case some All-NBA talent and potential 2020 free agent wants to do a little more than Barbershop and Space Jam sequels in his spare time.) Look at that pic up there. Feel old, yet? I sure as heck do. There’s Trae, an AAU supernova five years ago, palling around with what was the NBA's newest small-y young sensation. Anthony Davis was a high school shorty with 6-foot-2 point guard sensibilities, too, until the Flintstones Vitamins kicked in a growth spurt, helping him become an imposing NBA All-Star by age 21. Trae’s dad, Ray Young, recalled AD giving his son advice, when the mentor, after much contemplation, elected not to mess up his most distinctive feature. “Don’t cut your eyebrows,” Ray attributed to Anthony telling Trae, “we can do a deal together if you make it to the NBA.” Haha, my man said, “if.” Milk wouldn't do Trae's body quite so good, but he's turning out okay. It’s tempting to lock down a long-term deal with the Lakers, currently ruling the West’s roost at 10-2, and think you’ll be riding off into the sunset with the legendary LeBron. But, even James can bail out of Lakerland with an option clause after 2020-21. Young (26.6 PPG, 9th in NBA; 8.8 APG, 3rd in NBA), by comparison, isn’t even in max-contract-extension territory yet. AD, can you trust that the man who once loudly promised fans, “Not 1, Not 2, Not 3, Not 4, Not 5, Not 6…” is going to stick around after your 2, or 1? After all, he left D-Wade and C-Bosh hanging in South Beach, for an owner who had washed his hands of him, once he got homesick. He would have left Kyrie hanging with K-Love, had Irving not kept his third eye open. Can you trust that LBJ won’t simply cross locker rooms and make your trips to The Finals annually go through him with Doc and Jerry West’s Clippers instead? If James ties himself down in Purplish and Gold until he’s BIG 3-eligible, you’re golden. If he bails in two years, AD, what kind of bag might you be left holding? Nearly everyone you’re playing with will be hitting the exits, too. In the ensuing years, your best bet to play with a James again might involve tanking for Bronny. Dwight Howard might stay (NBA-best 76.0 FG%, because Dunks), since he’s having a grand old time resuscitating his Q-Rating while rocking that Miseducation of Lauryn Hill ‘do of his. Laker fans’ least favorite Laker, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, would be thrilled to return if you’ll have him back. Kyle Kuzma (13.6 PPG, 3rd in scoring on the team because someone has to be) and Talen Horton-Tucker could theoretically be extended on their rookie-scale deals a little longer. But like your favorite T-shirt says, “That’s All, Folks!” GM Rob Pelinka has done a fine job with the veteran-loaded roster construction, to this point. But, would you count on a swift rebuild with him in charge? Has his war-room drafted or acquired a young Laker that blossomed AS a Laker (if this is Kuz’s blossoming, he’s in trouble)? Can you count on Jeanie Buss resisting the urge to have Magic or, worse, Linda and Kurt Rambis, meddling again? Frank Vogel has done well, to this point, simplifying the offense and funneling ball-handler opponents to allow you, Mr. Davis (NBA-high 3.0 BPG), and the Laker bigs to shine. But you can bet he won’t be around long either, because you just know Jason Kidd is plotting something Shakespearean behind the scenes. You haven’t seen the best of Trae with the Hawks, or his coach Lloyd Pierce, especially if you scouted last night while Paul George’s Clippers ran through Atlanta’s defense like flag-football standout Jerome Bettis. But you shouldn’t have seen them at their best, yet, as neither is anywhere near their plateaus. Kyrie can recall those first two years mired in Cleveland, a rookie star with crazy handle in a hapless situation, stuck trying to win 35 games with Dion Waiters, Tyler Zeller and Alonzo Gee in tow. James arrives as a free agent, and suddenly Irving is getting to show what he can do in The Finals. Things weren’t looking too tight for the long-term prospects of heat coach Erik Spoelstra, or then-Cavs assistant Tyronn Lue, before the stars literally aligned before their eyes. Sign with the Hawks, and you won’t have long to wait before Coach Lloyd’s piercing your ear with tutelage, as you and the Team USA assistant chase gold together in Tokyo while, maybe, aligning some stars of your own. You like Chicago, AD? That’s cool. Come on East to the Hawks and for the first time in your pro career, you can visit your hometown in mid-season more than once per annum. Maybe even more visits, in the springtime, if anyone up there can figure out how to wake up Lauri Markkanen. I bet you don’t miss that Chi-town climate. At least when we get that cold, or handle a touch of snow around the ATL, it’s newsworthy. You want the big-city lifestyle without the annoyances of big-city media nitpicking and pestering you at every turn? Well, you’d be headed to the right place. Paparazzi is a reggaeton star, as far as this town knows. Whereas in Chicago or LA, you’d be charged with upholding basketball legacies, here in Atlanta, along with Young, you can become the legacy. Promises of 5, 6, or 7 golden balls is nice, but around here we’d be just peachy getting 1 or 2. If you’re gonna shoulder the load for a team with championship aspirations, wouldn’t it be good to have a conditioning staff that will do something about that pesky shoulder? Ask one of your trade partners, Lonzo Ball, about the Lakers’ loyalty once he went through shoulder sprain issues. Now, let us introduce you to Chelsea Lane and company. Trae is still supposed to be on the mend after an ankle injury he sustained in Miami a couple weeks ago, not spicing up national highlight reels with one nutmeg after another. Come to the Hawks, and you’ll soon be shoulder-bumping with Kevin Huerter in no time. Chelsea’s purview is the Lane you will want to stay in. Even John Collins knows that when you have a prodigious talent like Young at your disposal, you don’t need another performance enhancer. Maybe you can play with Collins, who, unlike LeBron, would be happy to play center full-time to fulfill your 4-spot desires. If not, hey, Schlenk has created the flexibility for Atlanta (4-8) to move, or get, almost any bigs you would want to form a formidable frontcourt tandem. Just because Trae has to make-do with Damian Jones and Chandler Parsons doesn’t mean you will. If the Hawks were just playing possum last night, it will show by their packing the paint on defense, disrupting drives without fouling, and shooing Danny Green (only Laker shooting over 33.3 3FG% on over ten attempts) off the three-point arc, particularly on the right side. Oh, and perhaps Young’s mates won’t need him (2-for-7 3FGs @ LAC, teammates 4-for-17) to bury shots from the LaBrea Tar Pits to be inspired to make productive plays of their own. Here’s hoping, ultimately, that the Hawks’ biggest loss was in November, but that their biggest Brow-raising victory won’t be. #AD2ATL! I’ll go get the stage and the pyrotechnics ready. Let’s Go Hawks! ~lw3
  3. No change yet to the Load, I mean, Injury Management status for Kawhi, from last night. Filling in at guard with Kawhi and Landry Shamet (out, ankle sprain, no timetable) against New Orleans was Terance Mann, the rookie out of Florida State. Pat Bev (calf) also remains questionable, as LouWill filled in with a start against the Pelicans. ~lw3
  4. OK, Boomer. Leave. Doc. Rivers. Alone! Everything’s all lined up for the LA Clippers’ jack-in-the-box kazillionaire owner Steve Ballmer. The reigning Finals MVP and the biggest prize from the 2018 free agent class, Kawhi Leonard, now suits up for him. Third in last year’s MVP voting, Paul George engineered a move to come play with Kawhi, too. PG’s shoulder is now healthy enough that he can play in his Staples Center premiere as a Clipper, tonight against the Atlanta Hawks (10:30 PM Eastern, Fox Sports Southeast and 92.9 FM in ATL, Fox Sports Prime Ticket). Pat Beverley, with these two SoCal superstars, can form as sound a defensive trio as you’ll find anywhere in The Association. Throw in perennial Sixth Man of the Year Lou Williams, six-foot-seven sugar cube Montrezl Harrell and a slew of contributors that know their roles well. Ballmer has the Clip Joint poised in perfect position to face off with his cross-arena rivals, the Los Angeles LeBronkers, for supremacy in the Western Conference, if not the entire league, over the next two seasons. For Ballmer, the cash will be rolling in like never before. I’m not all that sure, frankly, if Doc Rivers is gonna be able to see this thing through. Sorry, but I just want longevity, fortune and happiness for all our ex-Hawk greats, particularly after the players “retire.” And I’ve never worried so much about poor Glenn running himself into the ground. Now in his third decade of head-coaching in the NBA, Doc has over 1,500 games running the sidelines under his belt, not counting nearly 900 games he logged, spread out over 13 seasons, as a pro player. These days, he gets the pleasure of coaching his Clippers team against players like his son, Austin, and his new son-in-law, Seth Curry. This man has survived getting traded by his Hawks to the LAughingstock Clippers way back in 1991, an appetizer for skeptical Hawks fans a few years before Nique was served up as the main course. He survived watching Charles Smith wall-ball away his last big shot at a title, as a starter, with the Knicks against the ’93 Bulls. Before hanging up his jersey at age 34, he survived Rainbow Brite Rodman on the Spurs. As a first-year head coach, he survived a roster stacked with unknowns Ben Wallace, John Amaechi and Michael Doleac, earning Coach of the Year honors after breaking even with 41 wins in post-Shaq Orlando. He survived spurning would-be Magic star Tim Duncan’s request for family members to fly in the team’s plane, because Rules, and should-be star Grant Hill’s brittle body breaking down before his eyes. He survived three declining years as a coach in Boston and was rewarded with Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen along the way to 2008’s NBA title. He survived Allen seeking out greener pastures in Miami, and the perpetual strain of keeping Ref-Bumper Rondo in check. He survived Danny Ainge effectively shopping him to LA, a team that needed his coaching magic to rub off on Chris Paul and Blake Griffin. He survived the Sterlings. The Sterlings! He survived the added duty of being basketball-ops president for three seasons, chasing free agents in the summer, trying to keep the Clippers’ contention afloat. He survived DeAndre’ Jordan nearly bailing for Dallas in the middle of it all. He survived the side-eyes gained from signing and playing Austin for years. He survived Ballmer, through executive Lawrence Frank, blowing the whole thing up, beginning in the summer of 2017 with the CP3 trade. He survived every NBA lockout period. Before all of this, heck, he survived growing up in Chicagoland. Look at the man. Does that look like a guy that has yet to see age 60? Father Time is unkind to us all, but geez. Is that Doc, or Dikembe? Ignore the carefully scrawled “hair” line. I mean this out of pure, nostalgic Hawksfan love: Doc is looking rough, folks. That’s a walking antacids billboard, right there, no cap. I’d rather Rivers be sitting outside, in his yard, yelling at a cloud, not inside, at Tony Brothers, a few dozen nights per year. I’d much prefer Doc giving his money away at the roulette tables, not doling it out by the tens of thousands to Kiki Vandeweghe nearly every time he’s asked for his opinion. Coach Kenny knows what I’m talking about. “You want me to go Doc Rivers on ya?”, Atkinson quipped just this past weekend, the Nets coach pressed by media for his unmitigated “opinion,” about the new greenlight coaches’ challenge rule. “I don’t love it, because I don’t want to be focusing on the referees when I coach.” That, and Kenny’s securing his bag. I mean, c’mon, that man has a family to feed! As does Rivers, as his kids marry Curries and add even more doe-eyed crumb-snatchers to Grampaw Doc’s stable. One minute, you’re smitten with love and unbridled passion. The next minute, you’ve got one kid throwing her arms around this whippersnapper who buries threes on your team’s heads, and another kid egging on the refs, and the crowd, to get you tossed from his arena. “You’re not the boss of us, Paw!” “The refs screwed up,” Doc Don’t Lie told reporters after his Clippers succumbed to James Harden and company in Houston’s 102-93 win on Wednesday. Minutes before, late in the fourth quarter, he challenged an out-of-bounds call. You were right, the refs assured him, but you were a split-second too slow to hit the Greenlight thingamajig, so the errant call stands. However, Doc, good news! We saved money on our car insurance, and you get to keep the timeout you would have forfeited, had your challenge failed. With two timeouts in his pocket and the game hanging in the balance, he calls for one with 90 seconds remaining, only to have Brothers advise him he’s now fresh out of them. “No,” Doc recalls Terrible Tony telling him, “when you called that timeout, you lost it.” No, Tony, Doc will now show you what “losing it” really looks like. What is this, The New Ref Math? Rivers was left looking like the red homie on “Inside Out.” The Rockets’ Austin, probably last chastised by his pops for breaking some expensive vase after being warned not to play ball in the house, could not contain his glee as it was unfolding. You hate to love to see it. In the heat of the moment, I’m just happy Doc didn’t have a helmet to hurl at Tony B. and the Boyz. Fined tens of thousands for ripping the refs… in 2009. In 2013. In 2014. In 2016. In 2018, as Doc’s googol-aire boss watches on in sympathetic solidarity. He’ll get fined, yet again, for his consistent statements on how awful Brothers and his notoriously ratchet brethren are at their jerbs, especially when their egos can’t allow them to own up to blatant mistakes. Doc gets fined for the “inconsistent” statements, too, like earlier this month, about how the injury-managed Leonard (DNP’d on the back-to-back Thursday in New Orleans) is feeling nowadays. “Good morning, how are you today, Klaw?” “Oh, never been better! I’m literally feeling… fine!” Fifty thousand dollars fine, to be exact. “Tell me, Doc, you played against MJ in your day, how does free agent Kawhi compare to His Airness?” He doesn’t even get a penny for his thoughts, but Doc is always expected to give up a dollar when he shares them. Now, what about Pop, you might ask? Gregg’s a different case. First, he’s made it all the way through his 60s, and the man’s got it made. After all, he’s got RINGZ. Plural. He’ll probably get a nice medal in Tokyo next year, too, just for occasionally glaring and pouting and pointing and smart-azz-ing sideline reporters while The Real Dream Team steamrolls Angola or somebody (sorry, Bruno). You think failing to win another NBA title while putting LaMarcus Aldridge, DeMar DeRozan and Rudy Gay on Front Street is going to tarnish Pop’s legacy, or threaten his job-for-life-if-he-chooses status one iota? You think he stresses over that, either way? Nah, Coach Pop is more of a tenured dean, while Doc is merely an accomplished professor who catches flak from the regents for occasionally going nutty. I think the coaches’ association and the AARP ought to swing a special deal for folks like Pop and Doc. If you’ve reached a certain age, maybe 55, and you can claim at least one NBA ring as a head coach, you get a 75% discount on all fines levied by the league for your ref-rants. Or, for just about anything about which you can’t hold your tongue. So long as you’re not, like, imperiling players and staff overseas with the threat of extrajudicial imprisonment or flogging or bonesaws by offering your views, have at it. Spo, Nurse, Steve, hang on for just a couple more years. Bud, you’ve still got work to do. Rivers does have a near All-Star array of reliable assistant coaches at his side: former Hawks guards Armond Hill and Tyronn Lue, and Sam Cassell most notably. Already having contemplated retirement back in 2011 with Boston before deciding to stick around, I would prefer Doc nominate a successor for future seasons, after NBA win number 1,000 arrives, and get the baton-passing process underway, sooner rather than later. In the meantime, having a healthy PG and Kawhi balling out for him, maybe even together at times, will help the Clippers’ anxiety-burdened coach get through the next 70-plus games a little better. George fell just short of the scoring marks held by Cassell (35), Phil Smith and (don’t remind us) Nique (34 each), by scoring 33 in his Clipper debut on Thursday, a 132-127 loss to the Pels that dropped LA to 7-5 on the season. The argument I made about the Clips’ stout defensive potential is not so much “on paper” as it is on damp, no-frills bathroom tissue. LA has won just one contest in which they’ve allowed more than 102 points to the opposition, and that was to Golden State back on October 24. When Kawhi (26.8 PPG, 8.9 RPG, 2.1 SPG) plays, the Clipper D has tended to hold firm. In the three games he hasn’t, and Doc has to turn to Harrell or LouWill as a lead scorer, the results (0-3, 123.7 opp. PPG, 43.7 opp. 3FG%) haven’t been pretty. Even when Kawhi has contributed, if the Clippers get sloppy defending perimeter shooters as they did in October 26’s 130-122 loss at Phoenix (17-for-43 on 3FGs), they can get burned. George was on hand as they gave up a season-worst 52.9 3FG% on 34 Pelican shots. Surely, with PG and Kawhi (3rd and 4th among active NBA players for SPG) as an on-floor duo, the Clips (98.7 D-Rating in wins, 114.4 in losses) will get better at defensive consistency. We just have yet to see it unfold. Lloyd Pierce knows all about the Suns’ newfound mastery of the long ball. He also knows when his team is getting screwjobbed, one whistle at a time. “10 of the same offensive fouls,” Pierce noted after Atlanta (4-7) was left to sulk through the end of their 128-112 loss in Phoenix on Thursday night. “When our bigs are rolling, and you (random Suns cactus) step underneath our bigs, it’s tough.” Still pretty new to the game as a head coach, Pierce is trying to tip-toe through the media minefield to avoid fine-leveling criticism, much like his bigs and rookies look on their graceless drives into the paint. Cam Reddish may look like Gene Kelly without an umbrella on his forays to the basket, but maybe he’s onto something. He drew two flagrant rookie-call fouls while Bowling for Big Men, and he got to join DeAndre’ Bembry in hitting the showers early. The already short-handed Hawks were about done at that juncture. “Not a fun game,” said LP to postgame reporters, “That’s all I got.” Smart man, Lloyd. Secure the bag. Pierce, like Rivers, is not going to skirt around his team’s on-court failings (13 missed at-rim 2FGs after the 1st quarter; letting folks like Oubre, Saric and Kaminsky go awf) just to center blame on the greyshirts for losses. Against the Clipshow, with two stars likely on the floor together for the first time, Pierce is going to need his longest-tenured Hawk, Bembry, on his best behavior. Assertive, but not prone to wasting his aggressions out on the Ricky Rubios and Pat Beverleys of the world. Bembry ought to leave it to Trae Young to get under these vets’ skin, or through their legs, as the case may be. One of the early signs we had that Trae was starting to grab a toehold on the league came at an exasperated Beverley’s expense, here at Staples, back in January. On the way to a 123-118 victory, Young treated us with a fine offensive performance (26 points, 8-for-11 2FGs, 8 assists, 1 TO), the rookie leaving Bev and just about anyone assigned to him befuddled. Even Alex Len got in on the act, outperforming 6MOY candidate Harrell off the bench with 19 points, 9 boards and a trio of assists in just under 21 minutes. Len’s recent play in his return to a bench role, at Denver and Phoenix, offers tantalizing hope for the Hawks’ future rotations, once starters John Collins and Kevin Huerter and some vet reserves get back up to speed. The Hawks (29.5 O-Reb%, 3rd in NBA) are one of the few teams currently out-doing the Clippers (29.4 O-Reb%, 3rd in NBA) on the offensive glass. Beverley will need help from George and Leonard to force turnovers, keeping Young from getting shots off and cleanly passing to open teammates. But the pressure will be on Ivica Zubac, Harrell and the Clipper bigs to box out and terminate Atlanta possessions with sound rebounds and outlets. Drawing fouls (24.9 personals/game) more than any team other than the Suns (26.0) this season, the Clippers have been treated to more free throw tries than any team without a Giannis or a Harden on the roster, and they just got George (5th in league for FTAs last season) back in the fray. If they can slow the game down and wear down the Hawks early with whistles to open up a sizable lead, Atlanta will be tempted to save its energies for tomorrow in this same venue, when (maybe) LeBron and (maybe) Anthony Davis will be waiting. Doc Rivers’ stellar NBA playing career, including an All-Star appearance in 1988 as a Hawk (we saving his number’s retirement ceremony for Alex Len, or…?), doesn’t pass muster for a spot in Springfield. But his coaching career does pass the smell test. I ask, do you want Austin mumbling through a posthumous induction speech on his dad’s behalf? Of course not. You’ll want to enjoy unvarnished, fine-me-later-if-you-still-can tales and commentary, straight from Doc’s mouth. That’s why, as appreciative Hawks fans, we need to keep Doc’s wellness and his wallet, as he sails the next two championship campaigns amid the rough, unforgiving seas of LA and the national media, in our thoughts and prayers. Yikes, that’s not a good look, Glenn. Is there a small-d doc in the house? Let’s Go Hawks! ~lw3
  5. "Oh wouldn't it beeee niiiiiiice???" ~b3achb0ys
  6. But for the thoroughly complete lack of warm and fuzzy characters involved in throwing this together, I'd have been tempted to call it a dog 'n pony show, too. ~lw3
  7. BAZE-Whiteside-Melo Lineups. Yes, please!!! ~lw3
  8. A little too erratic trying to play the Suns' game to end the half, but still possible to clean that up! Make your bunnies and freebies! ~lw3
  9. CHARGE it to the Game, Dame! ~lw3
  10. I'll edit it during the break to RETREAD. "Now, go, and Sin no more!" Some cool cat said that back in the day. ~lw3
  11. I'd stand on the rim if I was LP and tell him, "Throw it between my legs!" ~lw3
  12. The Ballad of DoroTHREE Parker! ~lw3
  13. You're a good sub, Charlie Brown, Jr. ~lw3
  14. Asked my barber for a Dario Saric special, and he just put warcore's cat on my head. ~lw3
  15. AC Greenlight! Crabbe's in. ~lw3
  16. Did my eyes be-Trae me again? ~lw3
  17. Our rooks driving from the 3-point line, off the catch, often look like Fred Flintstone trying to rev up the car. ~lw3
  18. I was gonna have him come in for a workout at Flowery Branch this weekend if teams continued holding out. ~lw3
  19. A couple Suns notes, Head-to-head last season in a split of games with Utah, Trae averaged 25.5 PPG and 10.0 RPG for the Hawks, while Ricky averaged 19.5 and 9.0, respectively. ~lw3
  20. I'd have preferred to D'AB on dem folk with Bembry among the starters tonight, but not if he's ailing with flu-like symptoms or whatever. ~lw3