Tag: Dahntay Jones

2015 NBA Draft

Phil Jackson questions whether Duke players live up to expectations in NBA


The Knicks drafted Kristaps Porzingis with the No. 4 pick, and the early returns are positive.

But they also surely considered a couple players from Duke – Jahlil Okafor (who went No. 3 to the 76ers) and Justise Winslow (No. 10 to the Heat).

Would New York have chosen either? Knicks president Phil Jackson implies he had concerns simply because of their college team.

Jackson on Okafor, via Charlie Rosen of ESPN:

Jackson thinks he might not be aggressive enough. “Also, if you look at the guys who came to the NBA from Duke, aside from Grant Hill, which ones lived up to expectations?”

Let’s take a comprehensive look rather than cherry-picking players who could support either side of the argument.

We obviously don’t know yet whether Okafor, Winslow and Tyus Jones (No. 24 this year) will live up to expectations. Jabari Parker (No. 2 in 2014) looked pretty good last year, but he missed most of the season due to injury. It’s far too soon to make any judgments on him.

Otherwise, here are all Duke players drafted in the previous 15 years:

Lived up to expectations

  • Rodney Hood (No. 23 in 2014)
  • Mason Plumlee (No. 22 in 2013)
  • Ryan Kelly (No. 48 in 2013)
  • Miles Plumlee (No. 26 in 2012)
  • Kyrie Irving (No. 1 in 2011)
  • Kyle Singler (No. 33 in 2011)
  • Josh McRoberts (No. 37 in 2007)
  • J.J. Redick (No. 11 in 2006)
  • Luol Deng (No. 7 in 2004)
  • Chris Duhon (No. 38 in 2004)
  • Carlos Boozer (No. 34 in 2002)
  • Shane Battier (No. 6 in 2001)

Didn’t live up to expectations

  • Austin Rivers (No. 10 in 2012)
  • Nolan Smith (No. 21 in 2011)
  • Gerald Henderson (No. 12 in 2009)
  • Shelden Williams (No. 5 in 2006)
  • Daniel Ewing (No. 32 in 2005)
  • Dahntay Jones (No. 20 in 2003)
  • Mike Dunleavy (No. 3 in 2002)
  • Jay Williams (No. 2 in 2002)
  • Chris Carrawell (No. 41 in 2000)

That’s 12-of-21 – a 57 percent hit rate.

By comparison, here are players drafted from North Carolina in the same span:

Lived up to expectations

  • Harrison Barnes (No. 7 in 2012)
  • John Henson (No. 14 in 2012)
  • Tyler Zeller (No. 17 in 2012)
  • Ed Davis (No. 13 in 2010)
  • Tyler Hansbrough (No. 13 in 2009)
  • Ty Lawson (No. 18 in 2009)
  • Wayne Ellington (No. 28 in 2009)
  • Danny Green (No. 46 in 2009)
  • Brandan Wright (No. 8 in 2007)
  • Brendan Haywood (No. 20 in 2001)

Didn’t live up to expectations

  • Reggie Bullock (No. 25 in 2013)
  • Kendall Marshall (No. 13 in 2012)
  • Reyshawn Terry (No. 44 in 2007)
  • David Noel (No. 39 in 2006)
  • Marvin Williams (No. 2 in 2005)
  • Raymond Felton (No. 5 in 2005)
  • Sean May (No. 13 in 2005)
  • Rashad McCants (No. 14 in 2005)
  • Joseph Forte (No. 21 in 2001)

The Tar Heels are 10-for-19 – 53 percent.

Nobody would reasonably shy from drafting players from North Carolina, and they’ve fared worse than Duke players. Making snap judgments about Duke players just because they went to Duke is foolish.

Jackson is talking about a different time, when aside from Hill, Duke had a long run of first-round picks failing to meet expectations:

  • Roshown McLeod (No. 20 in 1998)
  • Cherokee Parks (No. 12 in 1995)
  • Bobby Hurley (No. 7 in 1993)
  • Christian Laettner (No. 3 in 1992)
  • Alaa Abdelnaby (No. 25 in 1990)
  • Danny Ferry (No. 2 in 1989)

Then, it was fair to question whether Mike Krzyzewski’s coaching yielded good college players who didn’t translate to the pros. But there have been more than enough counterexamples in the years since to dismiss that theory as bunk or outdated.

Count this as another example of Jackson sounding like someone who shouldn’t run an NBA team in 2015.

To be fair, the Knicks had a decent offseason, at least once you acknowledge they couldn’t land a star (which was kind of supposed to be Jackson’s job, right?).

The questions Knicks fans must ask themselves: Do you trust Jackson because of the moves he has made or worry about the next move because of what he has said?

Report: DeAndre Jordan was tired of Chris Paul not giving him high-fives

DeAndre Jordan, Chris Paul

DeAndre Jordan and Chris Paul’s rift, though denied by Doc Rivers and Dahntay Jones, has been reported, re-reported and re-re-reported.

Considering Jordan sacrificed money to join what I think will be Mavericks team worse than the Clippers would have been with him, it seems there’s something to the rift rumors.

Why don’t Jordan and Paul get along?

One report said Paul didn’t respect Jordan’s free-throw practice habits. Here’s another reason.

Kevin Arnovitz of ESPN:

He was tired of Paul’s constant barking and petty gestures, like distributing high-fives to the three other guys on the floor following a timeout but somehow freezing out Jordan.

Paul is a great player, the best point guard of his generation.

But, sometimes, he just hurts his own cause.

His flopping and near-constant whining to referees is off-putting. Each time, he acts genuinely shocked and hurt the officials don’t agree with his point of view.

Likewise, it seemed Paul couldn’t accept Jordan had a different outlook than him on life and basketball. To be sure, some of that is merely Paul’s perception. Jordan would not have come so far after being a second-round pick if he didn’t have a strong work ethic and focus. It might not have matched Paul’s all-time great drive, but that’s an unfair standard. Paul should have done a better job making Jordan feel welcome.

Now Paul and the remaining Clippers will suffer the consequences – trying to get back on track without a good answer for a replacement center.

Clippers’ Dahntay Jones: There’s no rift between Chris Paul, DeAndre Jordan

Denver Nuggets v Los Angeles Clippers

Things like this tend to surface if a guy is coming up for free agency (and that means people have agenda’s to leak things):

Reports said Chris Paul and DeAndre Jordan had a rift. It was centered around the lack of work Jordan put in to get better at free throws.

There’s nothing to the report, if you ask the Clippers’ Dahntay Jones. Which TMZ did.

There is NO rift between Chris Paul & DeAndre Jordan … despite reports to the contrary, so says Clippers teammate Dahntay Jones who tells TMZ Sports the L.A. superstars are still like “brothers.”

“Guys fight and argue on the court, but that’s just the emotion of the game,” Jones says … “but people want to blow things out of proportion.”

“Those guys are brothers, man. They sit with each other on the plane, on the bus. If you don’t like a guy you stay away from him.”

Is there a rift? The reality, like most things in life, lies somewhere in the middle. Paul and Jordan have had their moments, but that is certainly different from something that carries over for any length of time.

The real question: Is this rift deep enough to have free agent to be Jordan seriously look elsewhere?

I can think of 109 million reasons Jordan can probably get past any issues. Doc Rivers says Jordan will get a max contract offer from the Clippers, and that’s hard to walk away from.

Doc Rivers the GM’s lack of bench doomed Clippers. Can he fix it for next season?

Los Angeles Clippers v Houston Rockets - Game Seven

This season’s Los Angeles Clippers were slightly better than last season’s Los Angeles Clippers. It was baby steps. They were incrementally improved — but that was not near enough to live up to the lofty expectations.

The reason they fell short of those expectations was Doc Rivers.

Not the coach — he’s still elite on the bench — but rather Doc Rivers the GM let this team down.

The Clippers much-discussed — and dismissed by Rivers — lack of depth came back to bite them. After a grueling seven-game series against the Spurs, the Clippers wilted as the second round series went on against the Rockets. Los Angeles led Houston 3-1 but were flat and tired for Game 5. In Game 6 they wilted in the fourth quarter and blew a 19-point lead (there were a number of factors in that epic collapse, but fatigue was one of them). They fell behind early in Game 7 and didn’t have the role players stepping up nor energy to complete the comeback. The Clippers would make a push but could not sustain it. The fast pace of Game 7 — 106 possessions according to NBA.com — wore them down.

Throughout the series the Clippers players looked tired and after losing Game 7 they admitted they were exhausted.

That’s all on Rivers. This team’s lack of depth was key to their undoing.

Last summer Paul Pierce had interest in coming to the Clippers, but Doc Rivers spent the full mid-level exception on Spencer Hawes. Rivers’ other signings last summer were Jordan Farmar, Chris Douglas-Roberts, Jared Cunningham and Ekpe Udoh. Farmar and Cunningham were waived. Douglas-Roberts was packaged with Reggie Bullock and a 2017 second-round pick to get Austin Rivers (who was terrible most of the regular season but improved to up-and-down in the playoffs).  Rivers signed guys like Dahntay Jones, Jordan Hamilton, and Lester Hudson, but none of them were going to help the bench in any meaningful way.

The Clippers had their starting five and had to hope the younger Rivers, Jamal Crawford (-22 in Game 7) or “Big Baby” Glen Davis would step up. That didn’t happen nearly enough, and an enormous burden fell on the starters.

If the Clippers are going to do anything more than take another baby step forward — one that is likely not enough again — next season they have to get a deeper bench. Well, first they have to make sure free agent DeAndre Jordan doesn’t bolt for Texas, but after that Rivers needs to add some actual bench help to this team.

But Rivers doesn’t have a lot of room to add quality players.

“Contractually, and I don’t think everybody gets that, it’s very difficult (to add players) when you have the contracts we have,” Rivers said after Game 7, referring to the huge contracts of Blake Griffin and Chris Paul, plus one coming for Jordan. “Bringing J.J. (Redick) in here was great, but we’ve got to get this team more support. The problem is, with the contracts we’re hinged from, they’re probably doing to be minimum deals for the most part. There’s no big deals we’re going to make, most likely.”

Those large contracts certainly make it harder to put quality players around their stars, but other teams do it. The Rockets have max deals in James Harden and Dwight Howard, but added Trevor Ariza last summer, Josh Smith mid-season (he chose the Rockets over the Clippers and others), and have drafted and developed guys like Terrence Jones.

Rivers is not a cap guy, and maybe bringing in a cap guy he would listen to would help — giving Spencer Hawes the full mid-level put the Clippers under a hard cap that limited their flexibility through the season. The NBA salary cap and tax system is tax-code level complex and unless you want to delve in and understand every nuance, you need to have someone who does and who you listen to.

Steve Ballmer is not about to strip Rivers of his GM powers, but could he persuade Rivers to bring in a co-GM? Someone else that would have final say if there is a divide in the front office? While it’s hard to imagine Ballmer investing so much power in one person in his other businesses, I expect he’ll let Rivers continue to run the entire show for the Clippers. At least for another summer.

And when the Clippers return next summer, the core will look the same.

“I like our group…” Rivers said. “Teams that have stuck it out, on the long run, have done better than teams that blow it up. We’re really close, clearly. Maybe it’s a defensive guy, one more guy; I don’t now yet. Again, it sounds so easy, ‘why don’t you go get him?’ It’s not that easy, in terms of structure. Maybe we can do something, we will do something, but we’re not going to bring in another max guy.”

They don’t need to. But can they find and get the right role players who can turn that next baby step into the leap forward they need to challenge for an NBA title?

It’s all on Doc Rivers the GM to give Doc Rivers the coach the pieces he needs to win.

Doc Rivers, Steve Kerr trade verbal jabs before Warriors beat Clippers

Doc Rivers

The Clippers and the Warriors don’t like each other, and while things have been relatively tame on the court this season, there’s been a constant stream of comments that’s flowed from both sides.

It all began after an incident where L.A.’s Dahntay Jones bumped Draymond Green during a postgame interview. Jones was fined by the league, Doc Rivers mocked Green’s lack of toughness, Green responded by saying “Cool story, Glenn,” and then briefly sold t-shirts that displayed his newly-found catch phrase.

Most of the rhetoric has been centered around Green, and the latest round of sparring between Rivers and Steve Kerr once again used him as the starting point.

From J.A. Adande and Arash Markazi of ESPN.com:

The latest bit of verbal jousting came before the Clippers fell to the Warriors 110-106 on Tuesday night at Staples Center. Rivers, the second-year coach of the Clippers, said he could understand why Draymond Green, who has inflammation in his shins, wasn’t playing in the fourth and final meeting of the season between the two teams.

“That was pretty predictable; they didn’t want to take the risk of going 2-2 [in the season series] with their regular guys,” Rivers said. “You could pretty much predict they weren’t going to play everybody.”

“Oh, is that right?” Kerr, in his first year as Warriors coach, said with a chuckle when Rivers’ quote was relayed to him. “Either that or we have a nine-game lead and a couple guys banged up. Somewhere in there.”

The great thing about this ongoing war of words is that it remains, for the most part, good-natured. There’s nothing mean-spirited being said, and the constant back-and-forth only serves to increase the entertainment value surrounding the games between these two teams.

There’s still plenty to be sorted out where the Western Conference playoff picture is concerned. But if the Clippers remain in the 4-5 matchup, and if they can advance, we’ll get to see them face the Warriors in the second round for what would surely be a glorious seven-game series.