Posts Tagged ‘Sweep’

Phil Jackson: Unbreakable Legacy

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On Sunday night, the Los Angeles Lakers were eliminated from the 2011 Playoffs. After winning 2 NBA championships in their most recent 3 NBA Finals appearances, this year, the Lakers seemed uninterested, lethargic and lacking an edge.

But this blog just isn’t about the Lakers..

It’s about Phil Jackson.

The winning-est coach in NBA history, 11 NBA Championships in 13 Finals appearances.

He coached two of the greatest players of all-time in Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant, guiding them to 6 and 5 championship rings respectively. Other notable players, Hall of Famers Scottie Pippen and Dennis Rodman and future Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal all enjoyed wide success with Jackson.

Although he did not develop it, Jackson evolved and perfected the Triangle Offense. His style helped lead the 1995-96 Bulls team to a 72-10 record, which is the only team to ever win 70+ games in a season.

Lucky Guy! Don’t you think?

Jackson won in his first 9 championships in three-peats, first 3 with MJ and co., then another 3 in MJ’s return and 3 more with Shaq and Kobe. . . and after winning 2 in a row, Jackson had rightfully returned for the perfect ending, the one we all dream of, for one last season, one last run, for one last three-peat, one last title. . .

Instead, the Lakers were swept by the Dallas Mavericks in the 2nd-round of the Playoffs, being blown out by 30 in the elimination game.

And just when you thought matters could not get any worse. . .

Two Lakers players were ejected for flagrant plays and the Lakers had lost.

The man we all believed to be one of the luckiest, smartest and illustrious coaches in the world was disgraced, humiliated and let down, seemingly leaving the courts an apparent loser.

Despite this unfortunate ending, Jackson smiled, joked and embraced his own exit from the game of basketball at his press conference. Evidently thankful for his career, its opportunities and his unfathomable success during his 20 year run. . .

. . . then with one final smiling remark, Jackson stood, thanked the media and left the basketball world an apparent indisputable winner.


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Questionable Moves?

So the Boston Celtics are the first team to move on to the Second Round and I admit, I had no idea it would happen this quickly.

The combination of underestimating the Celtics (again) and the false hope that Carmelo Anthony or Amare Stoudamire may actually put forth a decent effort, ended the most highly anticipated first round match-up much too early.

Consequently, the New York Knicks were swept by the Celtics.

The worst part of all this, is that the Knicks were virtually blown out in their home losses, and seeming lacked effort, despite coming close to winning both games on the road in Boston.

And here come the questions. . .

Did the Knicks make the right move in acquiring Anthony?
I still think they made the right move, a talent like Anthony’s is hard to come by, but if they can just find a way to keep this guy motivated and focused.

Will Coach Mike D’Antoni’s system ever work?
No, No and a million times, NO! Basketball is about defense just as much as it is about offensive. Neither is better, neither is more important, both must be applied, practiced and perfected. D’Antoni needs to change his approach or find something else to do, because his system is ineffective against the best teams.

What changes do they have to make?
The Knicks must add veteran leadership that players of Melo and Stoudamire’s caliber will respect and follow. Not necessarily a star, just one whose play and achievements demand your effort and dedication. (Jason Kidd, Steve Nash… etc)

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