Stephon Marbury’s world of fantasy, where D’Antoni is on the hot seat

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In Stephon Marbury’s matrix, his thoughts on the Knicks really matter. They do not in any of ours, for us they are pure entertainment from a guy headed to China to play.

That said, we like entertainment, so here is what he told the New York Post (just some highlights of a story you should read all of):

“It’s just a matter of time,” Marbury said. “That’s all I got to stay about D’Antoni’s situation. I don’t pay attention to his coaching. It hasn’t changed since he won 50 games or since all the how many games he’s lost here. If he had different pieces, he’s a very effective coach. But without any players that play with the realm of how he coaches the game, it will never be.

“It’s a matter of time,” Marbury added. “It’s a countdown now. He put a countdown on his head. Now (the fans) know we’re never going to win a championship like this.”

‘He doesn’t teach defense,” Marbury said. “He teaches offense. (Jeff) Van Gundy teaches defense. (The D’Antoni system) doesn’t work in New York. Not in the East. You have to have a team that dives for balls and takes the 3 when nobody expects you to take the 3. You have to be inside the fans’ minds and that’s what they want. There’s knowledgeable people in the arena. They’re talking to you while you’re shooting a jump shot.”

This is the D’Antoni whose first act was banishing Marbury to the Siberia of the end of the Knicks bench. So, there’s some history. Plus, Marbury of course has long been known as a connoisseur of good coaching.

And for the record, what works in the Eastern Conference works in the West. You put the D’Antoni Suns in the East — with Steve Nash and Amare Stoudemire and all of it — and they win as many or more than they did in the West. Just because there are more teams that play at pace in the West doesn’t mean doing it right wouldn’t work in the East.

Marreese Speights opts out of Clippers contract

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The Clippers are unraveling.

Of course, whether they can re-sign Chris Paul and Blake Griffin are the big questions. But they also must deal with smaller matters in free agency – like Marreese Speights.

Speights will opt out, his agent tweeted:

The Clippers will hold Speights’ Non-Bird Rights (technically a form of Bird Rights), allowing them to give him a starting salary up to $2,540,346 without using cap space or the mid-level exception.

The 29-year-old Speights, a stretch five who takes charges, fits the modern NBA. He could probably get more if he seeks it.

The Clippers won’t have cap space unless they lose Paul and Griffin, and at that point, re-signing a veteran like Speights is of little use. So, it would likely require the taxpayer mid-level exception or Speights taking a discount to keep him.

Luc Mbah a Moute can and likely will also opt out, and he’ll fall in the same Non-Bird situation. The Clippers would likely prioritize their mid-level exception for him – if it’s enough for either player.

Keeping Paul and Griffin is of the utmost importance, but that’s not the Clippers’ only challenge. Even if they keep those two stars, assembling even a decent supporting cast will difficult. Possibly losing J.J. Redick is the main issue there, but handling Speights’ and Mbah a Moute’s roster spots will also be pivotal.

Warriors struggle to get Zaza Pachulia’s 2017 NBA Finals hat on his big head (video)

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Zaza Pachulia became the villain of the Western Conference finals when he injured Kawhi Leonard and torpedoed the Spurs chances of upsetting the Warriors.

But his teammates stood by him – then shared this fun moment with him after Golden State won the West.

Reporter asks Spanish-speaking Manu Ginobili whether he just announced retirement (video)

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Manu Ginobili received an emotional sendoff in the Spurs’ season-ending – and maybe Ginobili’s career-ending – loss to the Warriors last night.

The postgame press conference featured a lighthearted moment when, after the Argentinian guard answered a couple questions in Spanish, an American reporter – not wanting to miss big news – asked whether Ginobili had just announced his retirement.

No, Ginobili assured the reporter. He says he plans to take a few weeks to consider his options.

Warriors make most dominant playoff run ever to NBA Finals

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Moses Malone famously predicted the 76ers team would go “”Fo’, Fo’, Fo'” in the 1983 playoffs, sweeping all three rounds in four games. Philadelphia didn’t quite do it – sweeping the Knicks, beating the Bucks in five then sweeping the Lakers for the title.

Thirty-four years later, an NBA team went “”Fo’, Fo’, Fo'” for the first time.

Golden State swept the Trail Blazers, Jazz and Spurs in four-game series. But with an extra playoff round, the Warriors’ 12-0 run merely gets them to the Finals.

It’s the ninth undefeated run to the Finals, third since the league adopted four playoff rounds in 1984 and first since the first round became best-of-seven. The Lakers went 11-0 in the playoffs en route to the Finals in 2001 and 1989.

By winning an extra game and outscoring opponents by 16.3 points per game, Golden State now claims the most dominant postseason run to the NBA Finals ever.

Here are the top paths to the Finals, with Finals results, by playoff…

Record (point difference per game in parentheses):

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Point difference per game (record in parentheses):

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This doesn’t guarantee Golden State a championship. The Cavaliers (10-1, +11.9) are on track for an elite run to the Finals themselves, and they have LeBron James.

But the Warriors put ridiculous expectations on themselves by signing Kevin Durant to join a 73-win team featuring Stephen Curry, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson. I’m unsure a Golden State title this year will be properly appreciated, but so far, the Warriors are doing all they can to clear a bar set unreasonably high.