You’ve all heard Albert Einstein’s definition of insanity. “Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
Well, guess what? Dwight Howard is completely nuts.
For whatever reason, Howard keeps toying with technical fouls, keeps drawing the ire of the officials, then complaining about it. Like that’s going to solve the problem. He’s four techs away from a suspension, and he says that once he hits the threshold, he’ll stop. Just like that. Except that he’s setting a precedent now. He’s actually encouraging the officials to continue this behavior, not pushing them to reconsider.
Think of it this way. You’re in charge of a large office’s policies and procedures compliance. Your job is to make sure everyone uses the same fonts, dresses in an appropriate manner, doesn’t indulge in unprofessional behavior. It’s a drag, but it’s a business and that’s how the business has decided to run itself. Now someone comes in and every single day they are doing something. Yelling a curse word int he lunch room. Wearing flip flops and board shorts. (“Board shorts? Really?”) Taking other people’s food from the refrigerator. Using Comic Sans. (Hello, Dan Gilbert!) And you keep firing off reprimands and warnings. They’re four violations away from a suspension without pay. And this is the second year they’ve been in this position! But every time you reprimand them, instead of saying “I’ll work on it” and trying to improve their behavior, they instead complain to their coworkers, on message boards, and their supervisor tells everyone that you have it out for that worker. Are you going to somehow change how you act, or are you going to take an even harder line with him?
That’s Dwight Howard. Continually doing the same thing over and over again, then getting mad when the same consequences befall him, then getting upset when the pattern continues itself, without any adjustments on his part.
What’s sad is that this doesn’t take much to correct. The officials aren’t going to bag him if he just doesn’t react to fouls. If he started raising his hand once in a while and saying “Yeah, I got him” or simply not complaining when he’s hammered down low (and he does get hammered without a call,that’s true), they’d probably start behaving differently. That would break the pattern for the officials. But instead, Howard reinforces it and just gets more upset. This isn’t rocket science, but Howard is treating it that way.
Sunday’s matchup between the Oklahoma City Thunder and Minnesota Timberwolves was perhaps a preview of a Western Conference playoff series. We should certainly hope so given the late-game heroics we saw this weekend courtesy of Karl-Anthony Towns, Carmelo Anthony, and Andrew Wiggins.
The two teams played a razor thin matchup in the fourth quarter, with Towns hitting a floating shot with just nine seconds left to take the lead. OKC took the torch just seconds later when Carmelo hit a 3-pointer with less than five seconds to play from the left wing.
That left the Timberwolves down by one point with no timeouts to spare.
After Minnesota inbounded to the ball, Wiggins drove down the left sideline and toward the middle of the floor. With the clock running out, Wiggins pulled up from nearly 30 feet out and drained 3-pointer off the backboard as time expired.
Here’s what the two threes looked like back to back.
Today was absolutely mental in the NBA. Between the drama that’s happening with the Phoenix Suns and this Western Conference shootout, the regular season just keeps amping it up each and every day.
The LA Clippers needed everything to go right for them injury-wise to be able to survive losing Chris Paul the same year many teams in the Western Conference got much stronger. Sunday’s news that rookie Milos Teodosic is out indefinitely with a left plantar fascia injury won’t help the confidence of fans in southern California.
Teodosic suffered the injury during a game against the Phoenix Suns earlier in the week. Teodosic could be seen pulling up lame toward the near corner on a seemingly innocuous play, which you can watch above.
Here is the release from the team on Teodosic’s injury..
Teodosic was expected to be a boost for the Clippers’ offense, who lost Paul over the offseason to the Houston Rockets. Teodosic is a 30-year-old rookie whose passing acumen was sure to be a highlight reel staple over the course of the season.
Plantar fascia injuries can be tough for players to come back from, although the severity of the injury can vary greatly. In the past, players like Damian Lillard and Al Jefferson have made relatively speedy recoveries or have been able to play through the injury itself.
However, a plantar fascia issue can be a tough one and is often difficult to get to recover given the inherent stress level of the area and because soft tissue injuries can be pesky. Obviously, a word like “indefinitely” is pretty dang scary.
Meanwhile, the Suns had a few issues of their own on Sunday. They fired head coach Earl Watson and point guard Eric Bledsoe tweeted out that he no longer wanted to be “here”. The former Clippers point guard has already had lobbyists from LA come calling. Big man DeAndre Jordan already tweeted that he wanted Bledsoe to “come back home”.
Someone has to trade for Bledsoe. Might as well be the Clippers.
Things are just getting weirder in Arizona.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Phoenix Suns have fired head coach Earl Watson. This comes in less than an hour after Suns point guard Eric Bledsoe tweeted out that he no longer wanted to be “here”. The assumption is that the “here” meant with the Suns organization, although Bledsoe nor the team have clarified.
Phoenix was always slated to be a bad team but they have been an absolute mess to start the season. Just three games in and they have yet to win a contest. They have lost by a combined 92 points in those games during some hilariously bad efforts. While Watson’s firing is sudden, it’s not entirely surprising.
Meanwhile, it’s not clear what the Suns will do from here both with Bledsoe and in filling the head coach spot on the bench.
Teams like the New York Knicks and Indiana Pacers have struggled when players have requested a trade publicly. Much of their leverage is lost and it could be harder to find a usable return for Bledsoe. A friend of LeBron James, Bledsoe has been rumored in trades from Phoenix to places like Cleveland for years. Now, it will be curious to see if the Suns will need to move him and what they can get for Bledsoe once a deal is done. Any assets will be a vital to their rebuilding process.
In terms of coaching, Phoenix has both Ty Corbin and Jay Triano on the bench, both of which who have been head coaches in the NBA before. It appears Triano will be stepping into the interim role, but that still leaves the question of what Phoenix should do from here on out. A directionless team in the middle of a rebuild with less-than-stellar ownership is a recipe for continued failure.
Phoenix has been a poorly-run organization for some time, particularly when it comes to expenses. Phoenix owner Robert Sarver is notoriously cheap, even going so far as selling draft picks outright. Phoenix exchanged players like Marcin Gortat, Rudy Fernandez, and Rajon Rondo for pennies on the dollar.
They are already the worst team in the NBA, one of their star players wants out, and now they no longer have a head coach. If you are a basketball fan in Phoenix, things have to be tough for you right now.
The Phoenix Suns were always going to be a bad team, but I think we were all surprised when they started off the season with a historical loss to the Portland Trail Blazers. Now, it seems things are getting worse.
On Sunday, Suns point guard Eric Bledsoe sent out a message on Twitter that seemed to insinuate that he no longer wanted to be a part of the organization in Phoenix.
That tweet set the NBA sphere on fire during a relatively sleepy afternoon. Ramifications of players being open with their requests to move teams has not always played out well for the organizations. Think about the decreased leverage for the Knicks and Pacers when it came to Paul George and Carmelo Anthony.
It would be a major bummer for fans in Arizona if Bledsoe does indeed want out of Phoenix. The team has played all of three games, and after years of trade speculation around Bledsoe so it would be a huge blow to give him up to suitors for pennies on the dollar.
As of publication on Sunday afternoon we have yet to confirm that this is the intent of Bledsoe’s tweet, but no doubt we will hear more about it as the day goes on.