Having computer trouble today. Of all days! Mike D'Antoni to New York! O.J. Mayo stuff! Lakers Jazz getting exciting! I have a lot to say! But my computer has not wanted to say it with me, so please bear with me. Also, I'm about to hop in the car to go be on ESPNews. Crazy day. A few thoughts first:
The Associated Press's Donna Abu-Nasr (from USA Today) catches up with some basketball pioneers -- women who have formed their own league in Saudi Arabia: "In Saudi Arabia, women cannot drive or vote and have few legal rights. The restrictions stem from the strict version of Islam the kingdom follows. Many conservative adherents believe that women's emancipation will lead to decadence and a dissipation of Islamic values. For these religious conservatives, keeping the sexes segregated and maintaining male guardianship over women is not enough. They want to ban anything they believe might encourage women to abandon conservative Muslim values. Because of the influence conservative clerics have on government and society, sports and physical education classes are banned in state-run girls' schools. Women's games and marathons are canceled when the powerful clergy get wind of them, and female athletes are not allowed to participate in the Olympics. Despite such obstacles, Saudi women have quietly been forming soccer, basketball, volleyball and other teams throughout the kingdom in the past few years."
I have to admit, I kind of love the microphones on the coaches. Did you hear Byron Scott saying that his Hornets need to "match" the Spurs intensity? I heard some of the Hawks say the same thing against the Celtics. Lots of coaches and players say it all the time. Here's the thing though: For the Hornets to win in San Antonio, I say they'd need be of a mindset to obliterate San Antonio's intensity level, not just match it. That's how young upstarts beat polished veterans. Aspiring to match seems to be aspiring too low. Also, did you hear Gregg Popovich telling Tony Parker "it's your game, baby." Remember Parker's first few years in the League? He was dreaming of the day Pop would tell him that. It was a rare glimpse into the all-important kinder, gentler side of Gregg Popovich.
You should really read Chad Ford on Mike D'Antoni and the Bulls. For what it's worth, I have no idea if D'Antoni will succeed in New York or not, but I sure wouldn't assume the man will not adjust his style to his personnel. I mean, of course he will. Everyone does, and he has in the past, to great effect.
Deron Williams, showing some mad savvy to go with all that skill.
A trainer tells of his day training O.J. Mayo.