lethalweapon3

No More World According to GarPax

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"Have I mentioned how much my wife and kids absolutely LOVE deep dish?"

~w0rldw1d3w3s

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"Why, sure, I'd put Luol in charge of Marketing!"

~dannydad0n

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"Lethal, your jokes are old and overplayed. Find a new tack!"

 

~shoota3y0uc0ward

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21 hours ago, lethalweapon3 said:

"Why, sure, I'd put Luol in charge of Marketing!"

~dannydad0n

Ferry and Wilcox.... ok this is not going to work for the Bulls. Wow. As a Hawks fan, I’m happy the east is a 13 team race. Seems like the Bulls and Knicks are voluntarily taking themselves out of it.

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21 hours ago, lethalweapon3 said:

 

"Lethal, your jokes are old and overplayed. Find a new tack!

 

Please don’t stop! 😂 

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14 minutes ago, lethalweapon3 said:

How y'all gonna fire Gar on his month off?

 

~lw3

AND STAY OUT! 😆 wow. Classy organization right there.

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    • By lethalweapon3
      Seems to be the thrust of the matter.
      ~lw3
    • By lethalweapon3
      “Go to The General and save some time!”
       
      Sorry, Chicago Bulls. Looks like you won’t have Trae Young to kick around this time!
      While our Atlanta Hawks head back up to Chicago to wrangle with those wascally Bulls (8:00 PM Eastern, Fox Sports Southeast and 92.9 FM in ATL, NBC Sports Chicago), kicking off yet another multi-game road trek, Trae the Tank Engine is going to stay behind for now. In the process of trying to keep the Hawks relevant during what was shaping up to be a washout home loss to Giannis-less Milwaukee last night, Young turned his ankle, and a red-eye flight to The Land of Lincoln was certain not to help matters.
      The last two times the Hawks had to deal with Jim Boylen’s club, the Hawks were coming off a back-to-back. The Bulls flew to Atlanta back in early November and dusted, by 20 points, a Hawks team that had beaten the Spurs one night before, but was still reeling with John Collins unavailable and Kevin Huerter minutes-restricted.
      That was their biggest margin of victory this season. Until this month, when the Hawks, coming off a squandered overtime game in Miami, flew north and within 24 hours watched their dreadful defense head south. In what was becoming a theme for Atlanta (6-twentysomething) this season, the opposition scored their most regulation points, in a 136-102 blowout, since the time when Illinois’ Senator Obama was prepping for the Pennsylvania primaries.
      With those last meetings in mind, one wonders, without Trae in tow for the Hawks, how much of a breeze this game will be for the Bulls will be in the Windy City. Laser-focused on keeping Young restless since getting torched throughout last season, the Bulls have held Atlanta’s young star to 12.0 PPG (26.9 FG%, 7.1 3FG%) and a season-low 78 O-Rating. Might their gameplan be thrown off more than Atlanta’s?
      Kevin Chouinard noted postgame last night, when Lloyd Pierce was asked about his team’s table-setters in Trae’s absence, Atlanta’s head coach rattled off several inexperienced options: two-way contractor Brandon Goodwin, Kevin Huerter (team-high 3 assists in 27 minutes vs. MIL on Friday), Cam Reddish, even De’Andre Hunter. Perhaps, when it comes to keeping his true designs under wraps, LL Cool P is doin’ it and doin’ it and doin’ it well. But don’t nobody share the Hawks coach’s response with E.T., The Extra Tradebait.
      Chicago-adjacent native Evan Turner (last player off ATL’s bench yesterday, 2 assists in 10 minutes) was conspicuous by Pierce’s omission. Well into the midst of trade season, this is as good a time as any for Pierce, with a little prodding by PBO/GM Travis Schlenk, to allow vets to showcase their wares.
      Atlanta should allow Turner (5.6 assists per-36, 2nd-highest on team), Chandler Parsons, Allen Crabbe (20 points, 4-for-7 3FGs, 3 steals vs. MIL) to offer flashes of what they could provide, if not the Hawks, then some other NBA team in the back end of this season, beyond their huge expiring contracts. But for whatever reasons, opportunities for Turner (probable, hammy strain from sitting on benches so long) to impress LL Cool P have been crushed like pink cookies in a plastic bag. Three turnovers in under 13 garbage-time minutes here back on December 11 didn’t help Evan’s cause.
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      Coming into tonight’s action, Lauri Markkanen (tummy flu) remains questionable to play. Leading scorer Zach LaVine (shoulder strain) and top rebounder Wendell Carter (abdominal) are listed as probable, while Otto Porter’s return (foot fracture) has been delayed until probably February. As much as Boylen would prefer to rest them all and allow Tomas Satoransky, Coby White (7-for-11 2FGs vs. ATL on Dec. 11) and Thaddeus Young (9 rebounds and team-high 6 assists off-bench vs. ATL on Dec. 11) run roughshod tonight, he knows his Bulls will need as many points as they can get to keep shorthanded Atlanta at bay.
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      Let’s Go Hawks!
      ~lw3
    • By lethalweapon3
      “Ha! Now I’m up 9-3 in this here 3-point contest, 2Chainz. You know my last make was the DAGGER!”
       
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      If it’s Otto Porter you’re looking for (3-for-4 3FGs @ ATL on Nov. 6), well, he’s been out with a bum foot after dancing on a ceiling. Tank prizes Coby White (hammy) and Wendell Carter (tummy) are soldiering through ailments of their own, as are Daniel Gafford (finger sprain) and Denzel Valentine (ankle). The one fellow who could conceivably push the Bulls over the top on any given night, LaVine, is on a mission to fry his egg-headed taskmaster, not recognizing Boylen is really just the Teflon. Dark waters, indeed.
      You can see why Trae turned his tongue into a lozenge after given opportunities by postgame media to hurl his own coach under the team bus last night, following a crucial final-minute benching. To be fair, Young may have worried that idling bus might run out of gas before the Hawks (6-18) could finally roll out of town. But the young star’s countenance showed he was as hurt by his coach’s non-substitution as anything The Chairman, Melvin Hunt, might have lobbed in his direction.
      “I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know,” Young repeated, in his best imitation of A Tribe Called Quest while his fans back home were screaming, “Oh My Gawd, Pierce! Oh My Gawwwwd!”. Trae could hardly Keep That Same Energy on Twitter, his emoji-laced postgame “Welp” comment met with derision by Butler and the heat star’s newfound #FloridaMan friends. Today’s “Another Day, Another Opportunity (100)” as Trae likes to say. But, for what?
      If Boylen is “You,” then Hawks coach Lloyd Pierce is the warm-seat Lottery Land coach “Your Significant Other Told You Not to Worry About.” Boylen would have pointed the finger at his subjects, then had them running suicides hours before today’s game. Pierce, rightfully, directed the bus wheels to roll right over him. Going “defense-offense” isn’t all that risky a strategy, unless you don’t go all the way through with the plan, and wind up with Bumble-bry trying to save the day with the ball in his hands as Trae watches from afar, “pulling for [his] teammates” from the sideline.
      “We ended up getting an empty possession on the offensive end (whodathunkit?), and then they come down and hit [Butler], it’s a big 3 to tie it up,” Pierce re-hashed to the AJC and postgame reporters. “And that’s on me… I feel bad. I think I had an opportunity to call a timeout after that first 3. In hindsight, you look back and think of what you could have done.”
      No bald-faced lies detected there. But as the Hawks approach tonight’s second opportunity to secure a winning road trip, it’s like arriving for a fancy feast with a horrible taste in your mouth that you can’t get rid of. Hawk-itosis!
      As far as riddance goes, Pierce has very little to worry about. The only media roasting he has to deal with is from us key bangers out in social media, most of us threatening not to fill arena seats we already don’t occupy, as the local sports media apparatus is way more toothless and way less ruthless than anything you’d find in the Second City. (Whoever that is over at Techwood Drive who pulled this game from TNT at the last minute, gracias.)
      Coming up short of the win in regulation, as his Hawks did last night, might even have earned Pierce some golf claps if we were solidly in the Competitanking™ phase of the season. Like last March, when a Vince-led ragtag group in Miami morphed from defenders into dodgeball competitors in the waning moments and lost by one. “D’oh! (wink, nod)”
      LP keeps relationships cordial and forthcoming with the beat writers, solid with the few locals that have any pull. Plus, he’s got unwavering support from the boss who picked him in PBO/GM Travis Schlenk, who only half-pretended this summer that his Hawks were immediately on the come-up to placate ownership and season-ticketholders. But the one way Pierce gets got is if his relationship with his star player deteriorates.
      If Young remains as much of a defensive liability as Pierce let on with his late-game substitution decision, that’s not so much a player issue as a problem for the staff and the guy who’s gained acclaim as a “defensive-minded coach” (hmm, what local team have we heard that from before?) and a “developmental coach.”
      Absurd runs like the heat, and various and sundry opponents, enjoy against Atlanta, at any time of a game, led by third-tier players whose individual contributions are worthy of induction into Springfield (wait… Duncan Robinson ISN’T the cake-mix guy?), isn’t squarely the fault of the players on the floor, but it can be attributable to the person who puts obviously shaky lineups and combos out there.
      In Chicago, LaVine doesn’t have the pull he needs to bend his front office’s ear. But the minute Young, bearing the brunt of mounting losses, decides to declare Pierce to be his Paul Westhead, his Doug Collins, LP would be at risk of getting the AX. Pierce must become as responsible with players on the court as he is relatable with them off it, especially his most important one.
      Atlanta’s first 20-point loss of the season came on the back end of a back-to-back, that November game against Chicago where Trae followed up a virtuoso performance against the Spurs by going 0-for-8 from downtown/burbs. Uncle Vince (3-for-4 3FGs, plus 5 rebounds in 16.5 minutes) was again the X-factor that kept the game remotely interesting for Hawks fans.
      That defeat came to the Bulls at home, after a satisfying win. What can be expected of this team on the road tonight, after a humbling loss? Hopefully, not another Houston-style game that has LaVine looking like Harden, and a rando like Satoransky looking like vintage Westbrook.
      Last month, the Hawks didn’t really have reliable contributions yet from De’Andre Hunter (career-high 28 points, 5-for-10 3FGs @ MIA), who needs to be more than an on-ball guardian to be effective defensively (no more than one steal or one block in past 12 games), and fellow rookie Cam Reddish (7 rebounds @ MIA, most since the season-opener).
      Getting these two, plus the returning Kevin Huerter (7 assists, 1 TO in 26 minutes), lots of looks tonight will be essential for Young to fend off a Bulls defense (NBA-high 9.4 team SPG, led by Dunn’s 1.9 and Sato’s 1.5; NBA-high 17.8 opponent TO%) that basically consists of guards pressuring ballhandlers into submission.
      Securing the defensive rebounds will be essential against the Bulls, whose 42.5 FG% is ahead of only the Knicks. Another rookie, Bruno Fernando, has been limited to under 10 minutes per game in his last four appearances, and should have a key role in Pierce’s frontcourt rotation to match Carter’s, Thaddeus Young’s and Gafford’s physicality. Yes, we’re still weeks away from John Collins’ return, but relying so heavily on “YPJ” to terminate opponent’s possessions hasn’t been a “PYT”.
      Good news! Our Hawks won’t have to deal with another back-to-back for 17 days after tonight. Barring an unfortunate trip to Vitamin World by John Collins, we’ll have him back to participate in all the fun and frolic by then. Maybe Huerter won’t be on a short leash by that time, either.
      The bad news? The first night of the back-to-back is against Giannis and Bud’s Bucks. Then, it’s another cross-country flight to… oh, wonderful, Chicago. Yeah, let’s just consider this here game a practice run, shall we? “Keep Bembry Off the Offensive Floor in a Tight Game” ON THREE. ONE! TWO!!
       
      Let’s Go Hawks!
      ~lw3