Tayshaun Prince Posterizer!
Welcome to another edition of NBA Nation Australia’s Roundtable! This week we’ll be tackling more hot topics from around the league including George Karl, the MVP award, the free agent debate in LA, most improved teams, Derrick Rose and Kobe’s mum (only because it’s Mother’s Day). We also welcome back podcaster and blogger Jabari Davis from The OpinioNation (theopnation.com), Brent Veale formerly of That Basketball Show and Tom Read from the #BelieveTheHype podcast!
It’s been some time since our last roundtable, so this week we’ve decided to bring in a couple of new contributors as well as a familiar face or two to discuss some of the recent hot topics in the NBA. We’ll be looking at everything from the Warriors playoff hopes, the Thunder’s challenge without Westbrook, The Knicks chances of taking the East, the Boston Celtics troubles, injures and Jason Collins’ recent news. To kick things off we welcome back Tom Read from the #BelieveTheHype podcast, as well as SidelineAgenda.com contributor and all round sports nut Alex Young, and Houston Rockets/NBA social media commentator Terry Goldfain to the party along with regulars from NBA Nation Australia Nick Caro and Sam Monaghan. Lets go!
Portland Trail Blazers rookie, and 6th overall pick in the NBA Draft Damian Lillard has won the 2012/13 Kia Rookie of The Year Award, the NBA announced this morning. 22 year-old Lillard had a phenomenal year and was considered the clear frontrunner for the honor for the better part of the season, averaging 19 points and 6.5 assists per game over an average of 38 minutes (lead NBA). He was voted as the winner unanimously by a panel of sports journalists totaling 605 votes, nearly double that of second placed Hornets/Pelicans center Anthony Davis. It is the first unanimous vote for the award since Blake Griffin in 2011. Congratulations, Damian Lillard.
Read the NBA’s press release HERE.
After yesterday’s embarrassing loss to the San Antonio Spurs, and his untimely ejection from the game early in the third quarter, and what appeared to be a confrontation with GM Mitch Kupchak (later dismissed) Lakers center Dwight Howard finally opened up to the world via Twitter in an attempt to rectify what he felt to be one of the most disappointing seasons of his career. Howard, widely regarded as the league’s best center, was ejected from yesterday’s game following his second technical foul for questioning the officials non-call after what he believed to be a hard foul. In the midst of all this, the Lakers were down by 20 points and Dwight being ejected at this point essentially spelled a loss before the game was even over, and the end of the 2012/13 Lakers season.
In the wake of their disastrous 2012/13 season, the lowly Charlotte Bobcats have fired head coach Mike Dunlap after he took the team to a 21-61 overall record, second only to the Orlando Magic for the NBA’s worst. It was just another pitfall in the long line of seasons in which the Bobcats have been largely known as the NBA’s biggest joke. The Michael Jordan owned franchise cannot seem to get it right now matter how they draft, who their coaching staff is or their leadership group. One need only look to a season ago when coach Paul Silas was ousted after similar results. It really is one of the more disappointing stories in the history of the league and this is just another example of why things simply have to turn around. Whether you are a Bobcats fan or not, you have to feel for the ailing club the further down the spiral they go and wonder, will they ever be a team of importance, or are they just destined to remain bottom feeders, and the laughing stock of the NBA? The search will resume for the Bobcats new coach, and hopefully the person who can lead them out of the darkness and back into the light. Grim. I know.
Above: Charlotte Bobcats head coaching records (Per ESPN)
After being fired from the role in 2010, following the Cleveland Cavaliers loss in the Eastern Conference semi finals, Mike Brown has been tentatively reinstated as head coach of the team following the firing of Byron Scott late last week. Lasting only 5 games with the Lakers in 2012/13, going 1-4, Brown was let go by the team leaving him open to further coaching opportunities. His record with the Cavaliers was very impressive taking the team to a 272-138 record in his first five seasons in the hot seat and this no doubt played into his hands as Cavs owner Dan Gilbert again exercised his intentions to re-hire Brown. It is unclear of what the impending deal’s parameters are in terms of longevity and payment, but we do know Brown will be charged with the task of leading this under-performing, yet talent-filled team back to relevancy. Brown was fired by the Lakers while still being owed in excess of $6 million, and has been on their payroll ever since. Many are speculating that this signing of Brown by another club will help the Lakers offset the money still owed to him and allow them a considerable amount of financial leg room when it comes to paying their coaches. Current coach Mike D’Antoni is owed a touch over $12 million by the Lakers, and should they decide to part ways with him (something the Lakers have stated would not happen), they would have more money to spend elsewhere. Only time will tell when it comes to the Lakers intentions, but for now it seems as though Mike Brown will attempt to pick up where he left off with his Cavaliers.
As reported late last week, the struggling Cleveland Cavaliers fired head coach Byron Scott following the culmination of what would be considered by the club and its fans a rather humiliating, disappointing season. The Cavs have been on a steady decline since the infamous departure of superstar LeBron James in early 2011, and have made every effort to get back to the playoffs by drafting young rookie star Kyrie Irving and re-building what many believe can be a competitive team going forward. This has not been the case recently, and the Cavs finished the 2012/13 season with a lowly 24-58 win/loss record, missing the playoffs and sparking the firing of Scott.
So…. here’s a new idea we have for YOU, the readers…
Alongside the questions we set ourselves here at NBA Nation Australia for our weekly Roundtable feature, we want to be able to run a new piece where we answer the questions you may have for us.
Are there any burning questions you may have for us?