Sports Medley 2017
NBA Playoffs Round 1 24 Apr 17
by Tony Medley
Here’s why Hubie
Brown is the best color commentator on TV sports. With about two minutes
left in the fourth quarter of the 4th Cleveland-Indiana
playoff game and the scored tied there was a timeout. Brown said, “What
they (Indiana) want is, come out of this timeout with a set play
something where you’re doing one screen or the staggered screen; doing
something that’s going to open up Paul George and if they do trap then
you take advantage of the trap; 4 against 3 under the trap.”
The ball was put back
in play and Indiana got the ball to Paul George coming off the screen
where Cleveland had to switch defenders. Brown continues describing the
action, “Well they’ve got their switch, the switch they wanted; there is
the double; nice pass to Young! (Young scores a layup) Nice pass by Paul
George; you knew the trap was coming. And they don’t hesitate; they come
and get you right away and Young created that pass in the painted area.”
This is why Hubie
Brown is in a class by himself. He doesn’t wait until after the action
has occurred. He described precisely what was going to happen during the
timeout and then the viewer watched it unfold before his eyes. If I’ve
said this a million times before, and I’ll say it again. Listening to
Hubie Brown is better than taking a graduate course in basketball. He is
simply the best, bar none.
A shining example of
the “education” athletes get at NCAA schools:
UCLA alumnus Russell Westbrook answering a question directed at teammate
Steven Adams after losing the 4th game of the playoff series
against Houston, about OKC’s ineffectiveness when Westbrook is on the
bench, “I don’t want nobody to try to split us up. We all one team. When
I go to the bench, when I’m off the floor; we in this together. Don’t
split us up. Don’t try to split us up. Don’t try to make us go against
each other, try to make it against Russell and the rest of the guys,
Russell against Houston. I don’t want to hear that. We in this together.
We play as a team and that’s all that matters; that’s it.” Adams never
opened his mouth.
Westbrook played for
UCLA two seasons. Apparently he never made it out of Dumbbell English,
and apparently nobody in the faculty cared or took the time to teach him
how to use proper grammar. Well, they only had two years.
But what is more
troubling about this is that Westbrook did not let his teammate, to whom
the question was directed, answer the question. I wrote a
Westbrook’s ball hogging a couple of years ago. I thought he had
corrected that last year and part of this year. But in playoff game #2
in which he scored 51 points, he took 43 shots in 41 minutes played.
That’s more than one shot per minute. His teammates can’t be happy, and
Westbrook’s shooting is probably why Kevin Durant flew the coop to
Golden State when he had the chance. However, in Westbrook’s defense, OKC is remarkably devoid of talent. When Westbrook is on the bench they
are outscored something like 20 points. When he’s in the game they
outscore the opponents by 19 points.
Worse, Billy Donovan,
the OKC coach, is to basketball as Dave Roberts is to baseball. In the
crucial fourth game against Houston it was basically a tie game in the
last five minutes. OKC’s defensive gem Andre Roberson could be the worst
free-throw shooter in basketball. Donovan left him in the game despite
the fact that starting with 4:11 left in the game, every time OKC got
the ball he was intentionally fouled. This happened four times in the
next 50 seconds, when Donovan finally pulled him, and he was 2 for 8
from the line in those 50 seconds (2 for 12 for the game). These missed
offensive opportunities undoubtedly cost OKC the game, that and not
fouling with 18 seconds left and one point behind. It’s hard to believe
Donovan will be able to keep his job after these inept decisions.
The NBA should not
allow these “Hack a Shack” intentional fouls away from the ball. There’s
an easy solution. When a player is intentionally fouled away from the
ball, the offended team should get 2 free throws and retain possession.
Result? No Hack a Shacks. But goofball NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has
already proven he cares more about politically correct things like
ensuring that grown men can use your daughter’s bathroom at school than
he does about basketball.