Lamar Odom, Kobe Bryant, Ron Artest

Baseline to Baseline recaps: Valentine Day massacres around the league

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You missed a lot of blowouts (all games were decided by at least 14 points) while trying to prove to your wife/girlfriend you can cook something other than toast (as we were with our wife most of the night, these are going to be pretty short):

Bobcats 109, Lakers 89: This was the entirety of Phil Jackson’s post-game press conference: “I just have this to say; I’m very disappointed in our performance tonight. I’m embarrassed about what we did. That’s it.”

Charlotte is now 8-3 against the Lakers in the last six seasons. They just have the Lakers number. The Lakers were sloppy, including 9 first half turnovers. Which of course means Kobe decides to take over, and he goes 4-13 in the first half (8-of-20 for the game). In the second half Kwame Brown was knocking down midrange jumpers and Gerald Wallace was hitting everything. The Lakers always seem to struggle in Charlotte, and the Bobcats played as well as they have in a while.

Spurs 102, Nets 85: This one was pretty much what you expected from the outset, and the Nets finished shooting just 34.8 percent. Very Spurs-like win with six guys in double figures scoring but only Manu Ginobili (22) with more than 15.

Hawks 94, Pistons 79: The Pistons were up 15 a couple minutes into the second quarter, they just looked quicker and shot better. You wondered where these Pistons had been hiding. Then the fatigue of playing their fifth game in seven nights seemed to set in (that or they reverted to form) and Detroit didn’t defend well at all. Josh Smith scored 27 points on 11-of-17 shooting

Trail Blazers 95, Timberwolves 81: This was the closest game of the night. Darko Milicic returned and had 15 points but the Timberwolves shot just 39 percent (if they hadn’t been knocking down threes at a good clip this would have been much worse). Wes Mathews (another guy Utah could have used this season) led the Blazers with 23.

Bucks 102, Clippers 78: The Bucks controlled this one from the outset. In the second quarter, Andrew Bogut just took it right to DeAndre Jordan. Brandon Jennings got whatever shot he wanted. The Clippers were on their fifth game in seven days and they just look lost and confused. The Buck kept making mistakes (like going away from Jennings and Bogut) but the Clippers couldn’t capitalize.

Rockets 121, Nuggets 102: The Nuggets are 3-7 in their last 10, and maybe it’s just a mid-season slump every team goes through, maybe we should remember it’s their fourth game in six days, but it’s hard not to think that the ongoing Carmelo Anthony saga has finally weighed this team down. The Nuggets looked physically and mentally tired in this one. Houston played better defense and Shane Battier was 7-for-7 from the field.

Spurs fans decide to vote for Gregg Popovich in presidential election

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Gregg Popovich had plenty of strong opinions leading up to and after the 2016 Presidential Election. Perhaps he would have been a good choice for the White House himself?

That’s what 25 people in Bexar County — where San Antonio is located — thought when they cast their vote for the 67-year-old San Antonio Spurs coach.

According to the San Antonio Express-News, rather than cast their vote for Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton, some folks thought the Air Force Academy graduate would suit them better as the Leader of the Free World.
From MySA.com:

They wrote-in Spurs Coach Gregg Popovich, Tim Duncan, Jesus and Mickey Mouse, among others, to be president. A few cast their vote for a Popovich-Duncan ticket, but despite their efforts, Trump and Mike Pence were elected president and vice president.

The write-in records, obtained from the Bexar County Elections Department, show 5,226 people cast a vote for someone, or something, other than the two major party candidates— Clinton and Trump.

Popovich has been putting his money where his mouth is, both in his criticism of the current political climate and in his community outreach.

The Spurs coach recently held a town hall with Cornel West and local disadvantaged San Antonio youth.

Craig Sager to be inducted to Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame

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TNT’s legendary sideline reporter Craig Sager is widely held to be one of the best dudes working in professional sports, and this December he will be honored by his peers for his years of hard work. The Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame — an organization made up of members of almost every major American media company — will induct Sager to their ranks on Dec. 13.

While Sager is now known for his genial demeanor, wacky suits, and multiple unforunate bouts with cancer, he has been in the national public eye for more than two decades.
From the Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame:

Sager’s presence has become synonymous with big-time NBA basketball (not to mention with unique style). As a sideline reporter for the NBA on TNT for nearly two decades, he has earned the respect of players, coaches, and viewers. He previously hosted Atlanta Hawks telecasts for TBS Superstation and was a reporter on TNT’s NFL pregame, halftime, and postgame from 1990 to ’97.

This is an excellent thing to happen to a generally excellent human being.

Congratulations to Sager.

Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle reveals hilarious strategy for unlimited timeouts

Rick Carlisle
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Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle isn’t afraid to speak his mind or put his intelligence on display. The 2011 NBA Champion recently made comments amid a losing season that the NBA is better than digging ditches, where most of us would have to agree.

He’s also not afraid to game the game a little bit.

Via Twitter:

This feels like one of those moments where you realize that the answer to something simple is often right in front of you the entire time.

Carlisle is a basketball genius, and there’s nothing wrong if he’s technically playing within the rules — even if what he’s doing is asking for a penalty within those rules.

Don’t hate the player — or the coach — hate the game.

Wizards’ Tomas Satoransky says new role making adjustment to NBA hard

WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 26:  Tomas Satoransky #31 of the Washington Wizards dribbles the ball against the San Antonio Spurs at Verizon Center on November 26, 2016 in Washington, DC. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
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There was a lot of preseason buzz about Wizards rookie Tomas Satoransky — he’s 6’7″, long, athletic, he’s got handles, and he made some impressive plays in preseason.

His regular season has been a disappointment. He’s playing more than 16 minutes a night, but is shooting just 40 percent from the field, is scoring 3.8 points with 2.4 assists per game, and he has a PER at 8 that suggests he could use some D-League run.

Why is he having trouble adjusting? He spoke to gigantes.com and said a lot of it is learning a new position (translation via Sportando).

“I’m not playing as a point guard, I’m playing mainly as 2 or 3 and that’s difficult for me,” Satoransky said. ‘When you played your entire career as point guard, it’s difficult to adapt to a new role, especially because you have to play defense against bigger guys. I know I have to do better to play in these roles”

With John Wall and Trey Burke on the Wizards, there isn’t a lot of room for run at the point for Satoransky. He also is adjusting to the NBA game — a third of his possessions come as the pick-and-roll ball handler (a big role for an NBA point guard) and he is shooting 34.8 percent on those, although he is passing well out of those situations (with passes the Wizards average almost a point per possession when he comes off the pick, stats via Synergy Sports). Satoransky also is getting a fair amount of spot-up looks but is shooting  28.6 percent on those.

There are a lot of things going wrong with the Wizards’ bench units, Satoransky is part of that but at least he’s a guy the Wizards want to take their time and develop. Scott Brooks is still figuring out how to make all this work at the same time. Which means Satoransky may have a good NBA future ahead of him, but there is a lot of work to come first, and this rookie season is going to be rough.