Archive for May, 2010

Thibodeau Offered Hornets Job
May 31, 2010

The New Orleans Hornets have begun contract discussions with the representatives of Boston Celtics assistant coach Tom Thibodeau, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.

Hornets general manager Jeff Bower has exchanged proposals with Creative Artists Agency, which represents Thibodeau, on parameters of a possible deal. Sources say Thibodeau still plans to meet with New Jersey Nets GM Rod Thorn about his coaching vacancy sometime before the start of the NBA Finals on Thursday.

It’s unclear how close the Hornets and Thibodeau are on a possible agreement, but one thing seemed certain: Thibodeau still wants to stay in play for openings with the Nets and Chicago Bulls, and that could become a slippery slope for his candidacy in New Orleans.

Though Bower is eager to work out an agreement with Thibodeau, league sources believe the Hornets GM will quickly turn his courtship toward Portland Trail Blazers assistant Monty Williams should it seem Thibodeau is hedging in order to leverage New Orleans against the other jobs.

http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/news;_ylt=AtC.w90nZYrcASQLY68z1a28vLYF?slug=ys-thibodeauhornets053010

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Monty Williams In….Tom Thibodeau Out???
May 26, 2010

The New Orleans Hornets issued the following statement late Tuesday night:
“The New Orleans Hornets have not made a formal offer to any candidates involved in the process to hire a Head Coach.  We have had discussions with many impressive candidates.  We will issue an official update when we have concluded the process and have reached an agreement.  Any other information should be considered rumor or unauthorized and unreliable information.”
 
Yahoo.com on Monday reported that Boston Celtics assistant coach Tom Thibodeau would be offered the Hornets vacant head coaching position.
 
The report claimed that Thibodeau was the favorite with Portland assistant coach Monty Williams being the Hornets second choice.
 
Multiple league scources also confirmed to WDSU that Thibodeau was indeed the team’s top target. 
Tuesday night on WDSU we reported that the Hornets had offered the job to Thibodeau.
This morning (Wednesday) ESPN’s Marc Stein reported that the Hornets did indeed offer their coaching position to Thibodeau on Tuesday.
 
A source close to the situation tells WDSU that the Hornets could have issued a statement Tuesday because Thibodeau is no longer seriously considering coaching the Hornets.
 
Thibodeau has become a hot commodity and will be interviewing for the Chicago Bulls head coaching position. 
 
Sources tell WDSU Williams could now be the front runner.  Chris Paul is pushing for Williams to become head coach and by issuing the above statement the Hornets can say that they got the guy they wanted all along and that Williams truly was their first choice.

Semih Erden
May 26, 2010

Semih Erden.

Who?

Semih Erden!

No, I did not close my eyes and bang on my computer.

Semih Erden is a basketball player and a guy that the Hornets could probably use.

By now we all know that the Hornets have offered their head coaching position to Boston Celtics assistant Tom Thibodeau.  The 50 year old Thibodeau is considered a defensive guru.

Two years ago Boston drafted a big european center in the 2nd round of the NBA draft.  His name?  Semih Erden.  Thibodeau worked-out Erden before the draft and no doubt gave a relatively good review of the 7-footer to Boston GM Danny Ainge.

Semih Erden #86

Erden is often compared to Orlando’s Marcin Gortat.

It may be a stretch but if Thibodeau comes to New Orleans would he try to pry Erden away from Boston?  Erden is currently playing on a professional team in Turkey.

New Orleans is in need of big men and Boston might have better luck developing a guy like Julian Wright.  JuJu for Erden and a future 2nd round pick would work under NBA trade rules. 

So maybe…just maybe…if Thibodeau takes the job…maybe he finds a way to bring Erden to New Orleans…and maybe the big guy can play a bit…MAYBE! 

The below link is video from a Turkish junior national team that featured Erden and current NBA player Ersan Ilyasova (Milwaukee Bucks).

The Case For Luke Babbitt
May 22, 2010

I keep reading mock drafts and columns from NBA writers and seeing that they believe the Hornets will take a big man in this June’s NBA draft.

I completely disagree!

As I’ve stated before on this blog the best big men will be long gone by the time the Hornets pick 11th overall in the 1st round.

So why take a project player like Marshall University center Hassan Whiteside?

Whiteside may or may not develop and if he does develop it won’t be for a few years (plus every time I hear about ‘developmental’ big men I cringe and think about busts like Cedric Simmons and Hilton Armstrong).

The Hornets have to be in ‘WIN NOW’ mode in an effort to ensure that Chris Paul stays happy and does not bolt when he becomes a free agent in 2012. 

In my opinion the Hornets most glaring need is at small forward…not center or power forward.

I love Peja Stojakovic but injuries and inconsistent play have ravaged the sharp shooter.  Julian Wright has not emerged and is looking like a draft bust.  Last season the team was so thin at SF they started Morris Peterson at that position. 

So I say draft a really good wing player!

The last time I wrote a blog about the Hornets draft I said that I would love to see the team draft Butler University small forward Gordon Hayward.  If Hayward is available I’d love for the Hornets to select him…but the darling of the final four seems to be quickly moving up draft boards.  In his mock draft ESPN insider Chad Ford has Hayward going to the Los Angeles Clippers with the 9th overall selection in the 1st round.

So, lets assume Hayward is taken before the Hornets can grab him at #11.

The Hornets should select University of Nevada (Reno) small forward Luke Babbitt.

After reading up on Babbitt and watching several interviews he’s conducted I’ve come to the conclusion that I really like this guy.

Here is analysis from www.draftexpress.com about Babbitt:

  • On the offensive end, Babbitt possesses an extremely high skill level to go along with an outstanding feel for the game, assets which allow him to score easily and efficiently from all over the floor. The smooth left-handed shooter is hitting with deadeye accuracy from the free-throw (89%) and three-point lines (41%), while also showing strong ability off the dribble, namely with his mid-range jumper.Using a combination of ball fakes and jab steps along with rangy strides with the ball and excellent footwork, Babbitt does a very good job getting separation for his jumper in spite of his limited athletic ability. Getting open inside the arc, he shows very good ability to hit jumpers on the move, going left and right, with a hand in his face, and fading away from the basket.

    Babbitt’s shot has consistent mechanics and a high release point, while he also has NBA three-point range. His ability to hit shots in a variety of situations if very impressive for a player his age, though there are concerns about how his off-the-dribble shots will translate to the next level against longer, more athletic defenders.

Here is another link to a great break-down of Babbitt’s skills:

http://www.chicagonow.com/blogs/hoops-in-view/2010/05/nba-draft-profile-luke-babbitt.html

As for the Hornets big man situation.  David West is obviously still a tremendous offensive power forward and a strong team leader.  As inconsistent and ineffective as Emeka Okafor was at times last season he also showed signs of being the rebounder and shot blocker that the team envisioned getting when they traded him straight-up for Tyson Chandler.  Darius Songaila is a very very solid backup…..and in limited action after being acquired in a trade Aaron Grey looked like a player that can be effecitve. 

As I’ve stated before I think the Hornets also should sign soon-to-be free agent big man Ian Mahinmi and then trade for another big man.

The Hornets could perhaps trade Julian Wright for a low 1st round or high 2nd round pick.

If the Hornets acquire another pick I think they should draft St. Mary’s College center Omar Samhan. 

The Hornets could also try to pry British big man Joel Freeland away from Portland via a trade.  Freeland is often compared to New York Knicks center David Lee.  Freeland is currently playing in Spain but reportedly has a very managable buyout. 

Click Link Below To Watch Joel Freeland Play:

http://video.es.msn.com/watch/video/joel-freeland-candidato-a-jugador-revelaci-n/v2lxg7c9

We Are Lebron
May 17, 2010

This is GREAT!!!

My Bet: Tom Thibodeau
May 12, 2010

I’ve been lobbying for Bill Laimbeer to get an interview from the Hornets regarding the team’s head coaching position. 

So far the former Detroit Pistons ‘bad boy’ is nowhere on the Hornets radar and that’s sad because all Laimbeer has done at every level is win!!!

Moving on from Laimbeer….because it looks as if he’s got no chance with the Hornets organization….If I were a betting man I’d put money on Boston Celtics assistant coach Tom Thibodeau becoming the Hornets next head coach.

Thibodeau interviewed for the job with Hornets officials last week.

I’d also bet that Thibodeau brings former Hornet P.J. Brown onboard as an assistant coach on his staff.  Brown played for the Celtics two years ago when Boston who the NBA title.  Brown was a big defensive stopper on that team and has a good working relationship with Thibodeau. 

A longtime NBA assistant who’s known for being a master defensive coach Thibodeau is currently helping Boston shut down Lebron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA playoffs. 

To read more about Thibodeau click on the link below:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tom_Thibodeau

The New BCS Conferences (Updated Version)
May 11, 2010

Reports surfaced today that the Big Ten could expand by three or four schools.  If that happens expect a seismic shift in the power conferences of college sports.

For instance:

Reportedly the Big Ten has offered spots to the University of Nebraska, the University of Missouri, Rutgers University and the University of Notre Dame.

I say NO WAY does Notre Dame leave the NBC TV money they get for football…plus if the Irish are even remotely good they get a BCS Bowl bowl birth and $17 million dollars all to themselves!  Notre Dame will stay independent. 

But…let’s say the other three schools bolt for the new Big Ten.

The NEW Big Ten would now have 14 schools: 

I think the new name should be: The Big XIV or The Big Midwest

  • Michigan, Northwestern, Minnesota, Ohio State, Purdue, Penn State, Wisconsin, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan State, Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska, Rutgers. 
  • Nebraska and Missouri pulling out so quickly shows the Big XII is in MAJOR trouble!  To quote Mickey Rourke’s character in Iron Man 2….”Their is blood in the water and the sharks are coming.”

    Lets says the Pac-1o immediately follows the lead of the Big Ten and expands by two schools to 12.

    The NEW Pac-12 would look as follows:

    Stanford University, USC, University of Washington, Cal-Berkeley, UCLA, Washington State University, The University of Arizona, University of Oregon, Oregon State University, Arizona State University, The University of Utah and The University of Colorado.

    Utah and Colorado make perfect sense if the Pac-10 expands.   

    In the scenarios I’ve outlined above the Big XII is now down three schools!  

    With the Big XII going down in flames the SEC makes a huge power play and grabs Texas & Texas A&M.  The SEC goes from 12 to 14 schools and is now a super conference like the new Big Ten.

    The NEW SEC would looks as follows:

    LSU, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Auburn, Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky, Vanderbilt, Florida, South Carolina,  Georgia, Arkansas, Texas & Texas A&M

    The ACC remains intact and the Big East scoops up one of the following schools to replace Rutgers:  Temple, Memphis, Florida Atlantic, Ohio, Buffalo or Marshall.

    The NEW Big XII would have only 7 teams remaining after all the defections!

    So what does the Big XII do? All they can do is add 5 new schools from non-BCS conferences and remain the Big XII.

    I say the New Big XII looks as follows:

    Baylor, Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas Tech, TCU, BYU, Boise State, SMU & New Mexico  

    The Non-BCS conference schools will then go raid each other to fill the gaps left by the teams snatched up into the power conferences.

    Will any of this happen?  Probably not…but it’s fun to imagine what could be.

    Attention Gary Chouest: Hire Bill Laimbeer
    May 5, 2010

    Forget the retreads (Doug Collins, Mike Fratello, Jeff Van Gundy and even Avery Johnson). 

    Gary Chouest….hire Bill Laimbeer!

    And for all the skeptics, watch the story below and I bet you’ll become a believer!