The Starting 5: A look at some of the best hoops content from around the internet
1. “NBA coaches are shocked Pacers parted ways with Frank Vogel” — Dan Carson, Fox Sports
To the surprise of many NBA coaches, Larry Bird opted not to renew Frank Vogel’s contract with the Pacers. This decision is puzzling given the lack of talented head coaches who are available and his track record with the team. Dan Carson wrote that Erik Spoelstra was the most disturbed by the news. It reminded him that he could get similarly canned if he coached any other team. Some of the viable coaching options left for the Pacers are Mark Jackson, Mike D’Antoni and Jeff Van Gundy.
2. “Controversial calls live on through NBA’s last two minutes reports” — J.A. Adande, ESPN
J.A. Adande isn’t in favor of the NBA critiquing the referees after every game. He notes that replaying the last two minutes of games would be better, but that it’d be too complicated. The NBA is only allowed to re-do games when there’s a scoring error or misinterpretation of the rules, not an incorrect call. There’s no point in revealing the referees’ mistakes since it doesn’t change anything. Though the reports are good for transparency, fans would rather the NBA take action. However, some of the best end-of-game moments happened when the referees let the players decide the outcome of the game e.g. Michael Jordan’s push-off against Byron Russell and Reggie Miller’s shove-and-go against Jordan. The referees’ mistakes don’t need to be part of those moments.
3. “Can Mike D’Antoni be successful in the NBA again? It depends” — Tom Ziller, SB Nation
Mike D’Antoni made a name for himself with the Seven Seconds or Less Suns, but his offense didn’t translate well in New York or Los Angeles. Doubts surround D’Antoni’s ability to coach a team that isn’t suited for his high-octane offense. Coaches are generally treated unfairly in the NBA, as they’re demanded to be well liked by the players and achieve success on the court. However, they’re well compensated for their troubles, even after they’ve been fired. D’Antoni can bring out the best of offensive stars, but questions remain about his ability to coach teams into playing defense. The NBA is playing more and more like the mid-2000s Pheonix Suns, so the time is now for D’Antoni to prove himself once again.
4. “After Frank Vogel’s departure, five candidates who make sense for Pacers” — Zach Harper, CBS Sports
The Pacers want to employ a small ball lineup, and Zach Harper provides five coaches who can potentially fill in for Vogel. Mike D’Antoni would make the most sense for a team yearning for offensive firepower. It’s impressive that D’Antoni coached a D-League team in Los Angeles to 27 wins, while the team’s overall wins plummeted every year with Byron Scott at the helm and more talent on the roster. Mark Jackson is known as a great motivator, but not a great tactical coach. He could help Paul George continue to develop and has inspired his teams to play hard on defense, though. Larry Bird can reunite with former teammate Kevin McHale by hiring him as the next Pacers coach. He coached the Houston Rockets to the Western Conference Finals last year before getting fired 11 games into this season.
5. ‘Tastes like acid’ but NBA veteran says drinking horse medicine healed ACL injury” — Nick Martin, Washington Post
Usually NBA pplayers train and fight to recover from an injury, but Leandro Barbosa of the Warriors seems to have found a magic potion. The drink is called arnica do mato and has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. The product is usually given to horses by their racers to speed up recovery. Barbosa tore his ACL with the Boston Celtics three seasons ago, and he believes this magic potion helped him regain his speed and quickly return to being “The Brazilian Blur.” Now, his whole family drinks it. His teammates, however, hate it.