Friday, August 2, 2013

Noble's Weekly Notables: Brandon Jennings Trade, 76ers Lack of Coaching, and Hello Brooklyn

Brandon Jennings Trade

The calm over the past few weeks in the NBA disappeared with the Brandon Jennings sign-and-trade with the Detroit Pistons.  Milwaukee sent the $8 million dollar per year Brandon Jennings (3years-$24million) to Detroit for Brandon Knight, Slava Kravtsov and Khris Middleton. 

This was a win-win type of trade all around. It was clear that Brandon Jennings and the Milwaukee Bucks wanted no part of each other. Well to be fair to Milwaukee, this was more on Brandon Jennings.  Jennings has taken an unconventional route to the NBA by skipping college to play overseas before coming to the professional level.  We have seen him have monster games, 55 points against Golden State as a rookie.  He even signed a contract with Under Armour, becoming one the first athletes to shy away from the traditional brands like Adidas and Nike.

Joe Dumars and the Pistons got their point guard. Whether it was the one they wanted, they seemed to have received good compensation with this deal.  They didn’t have to give away much and they landed a proven point guard.  It was reported Detroit was looking for their ball handler when they were discussing the availability of Rajon Rondo with the Celtics.  Danny Ainge had an asking price of Greg Monroe, which clearly was a breaking point for the Pistons.  Detroit managed to get a point guard without giving up one of the two big man prospects, although Greg Monroe has established himself as a solid NBA center.

I like the trade for both point guards here.  Brandon Jennings will get to play with no shooters but he will have plenty of big men who can score close to the basket with Monroe, Drummond and now Josh Smith.  Brandon Knight gets to change into a new uniform, where he was on the receiving end of two posters last season.  Twitter even joked that he may have died during the DeAndre Jordan dunk. We will see if it pays dividends for both clubs next season.

76ers Unconventional Offseason

I recently ended up in a debate with a couple of Philadelphia 76er bloggers / fans regarding their head coach vacancy.  While they were defending the team for not hiring a coach as of August 1st, I couldn’t help but wonder how this could in any way be a positive for the team.  I’ll give you a hint, there isn’t.

The defense’s case was that they do not want to have another Doug Collins situation. Where you bring in a guy and he doesn’t work.  Okay, I am on board with this, you want a coach who you can build around. Fair point.

They also made the a counter argument saying that the next coach would not be the coach for a long time, they just need a temporary coach as they develop the young talent they have acquired.  Well if this point is the case, why not hire someone as soon as possible to work with the young talent during the offseason leading up to training camp?   

You can’t have it both ways. I can’t recall the last time a team had been without a coach for this long.  Not only did they miss out on grabbing the decent coaches available, they now look obvious in their tanking efforts for the Wiggins sweepstakes.  I will say, I forgot to mention Philadelphia in my article about the sweepstakes but they have to be the front runners now.   

Whatever your position is on the 76ers vacancy, you can’t deny that it’s not in the best interest of the team and organization to be without a coach.  The good teams have a tandem of General Manager and Head Coach who work together.  The bloggers who argued against me said the Coach isn’t that important, but as I pointed out the coach is involved with the game plan, team building, philosophy and everything else. Even though the General Manager is responsible for getting the best players, he still needs to have a coach’s philosophy to help guide his decisions.

One NBA scout texted me back after I asked if he would drop my resume off to the 76ers, “They could do a lot worse”.  Things aren’t looking too bright in Philly these days.

Hello Brooklyn

Where’s Brooklyn at? Will that quote ever get old? Probably not. 

I haven’t weighed in on the new super team in New York, the Brooklyn Nets with arguable the most attractive starting five in the league with Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Brook Lopez.

The expectations are high for the new look Nets and rightfully so.  They acquired two players who have won a title and have been in contention for the better part of this decade.

The Nets will be good next year or at least better than they were this past season but will it be good enough to contend for a title?   Many don’t think so and I have to agree with them.  Brooklyn doesn’t have the defensive coaching staff that can turn them into a premier defense like Tom Thibodeau did with Boston and Chicago but with the addition of a Kevin Garnett, the Nets will see an improvement in that area but not enough to be elite defensively.

The main reason I can’t see this veteran club holding the Larry O’Brien trophy next June is not because of the age issue, hold your senior citizens jokes, but based on the other teams in the Eastern Conference who improved.  

The question becomes where do you rank the Nets in the Eastern Conference? 

Miami will be Miami.  As long as they have Lebron playing the best basketball he can and Bosh and Wade can chip in together as a second star, they will be contending for titles.

The next two teams I would put ahead are the Chicago Bulls and the Indiana Pacers.  Both of these teams were better last year and will be adding an all star to their line up.   The Pacers will get Danny Granger back as well as the addition of Luis Scola.  The Bulls are more of a philosophical team in terms of their success being based off defense, however, they will be getting back an MVP in Derrick Rose.

This leaves me with the Nets in the 4th seed, same as last year. I wouldn’t write off the Nets ability to win the title because injuries and many other factors will pop up throughout the long 82 game season.  It will definitely be interesting to see what happens!


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