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Friday Morning Notebook: Perk’s “Ugly,” Thibs Mania, Fouls and More!

 

Some links to tide you over until the start of the Biggest Game of the Season (For Now): 

• The Washington Post (!) has a feature of the C’s improved play in the post-season. The highlight is Perk reflecting on the stitches he received during Game 1:

“I look at it like I’m already ugly,” Perkins said of his new look.

• When the C’s were on the verge of trading for Nate Robinson, much was made of the fact that he’d cost them an extra $2 million because of a bonus he’d receive if his team made the post-season. (The bonus was $1 million, which the C’s would have to match in luxury tax payments). 

Turns out that wasn’t accurate, according to ESPN.com. To earn that bonus, Robinson’s team had to make the playoffs and he had to appear in at least 58 games. He played in 56 games this season. Doc benched him in the Easter Sunday win against Cleveland and in a win three days later against the Raptors. No bonus, no extra $1 million on the luxury tax bill. 

• Tom Thibodeau appears to be finally coaching himself out of Boston—unless of course Doc Rivers retires and the C’s promote Thibs to the top job. But his name has now been linked to every coaching opening, and he apparently had his first interview already.

The interviewing team? The New Orleans Hornets, who sent their GM and president to Boston to meet with Thibodeau Thursday, according to the AP

• Tom Ziller at FanHouse has an interesting piece about one possible reason teams have passed on Thibs in prior off-seasons:

Tom Thibodeau might be the NBA‘s highest paid assistant coach, reportedly making more than $1 million each season he spends in Boston. Thibodeau is considered a defensive genius in many circles, having served under Jeff Van Gundy in New York and Houston, and having kept the Celtics in the top tier of the league’s defenses over his three-year tenure there. He interviews for a few head coaching jobs every summer, but never gets the nod. The knock has been that he’s a bit … intense.

Ziller goes on to say the Kings really liked Thibodeau when they interviewed him last summer. Jeff Van Gundy publicly praised Thibodeau’s head coaching qualifications earlier this week. 

There comes a point where an assistant’s name has been mentioned in head-coaching talks so many times that the whole “he’s never been a head coach and he’s not a marquee ex-player” concern drops away. That time might be now for Tom Thibodeau. If so, it will be Boston’s loss. 

• Fear the Sword, the SB Nation Cavs blog, discusses what LeBron didn’t say during his MVP acceptance speech Monday night and in the process reveals the whole “will LeBron leave?” thing is driving Cleveland fans insane:

There was a moment, just a moment, but so powerful, at least for me, as LeBron James took that microphone and thanked the commissioner, and shared the credit for his MVP season with his 14 teammates, and with his adoring fans standing there and roaring, when I thought:  My God, what if he does it right now, what if he says the simple words in this magic moment that would cause the Richter Scale to jump from the noise he could conjure?  What if he simply said “Cleveland, I ain’t going anywhere, I am here to stay.”

• John Krolik at Cavs the Blog is worrying—not about LeBron’s future or his elbow, but about the things the Cavs aren’t doing well through Games 1 and 2. He lists six such things. Here’s one:

This team has become increasingly reliant on its offense, and said offense has become increasingly reliant on jump shots. That’s not ideal. The Cavs have surrounded LeBron with outside shooters, but they’ve left themselves without enough players willing to take the ball strong to the basket. Delonte filled that role last season; he’s been replaced by [Anthony Parker] in the starting lineup, and isn’t nearly as aggressive as he once was when he is in the game. Many of Andy’s minutes have gone to the more jumper-inclined Jamison, and Varejao hasn’t looked aggressive when he is playing. No more settling for contested jump shots early in the shot clock. That goes for everyone.

Now go read the other five and tell John what you think.

• Chad Ford’s newest mock draft is out and he has the C’s, picking 19th (!), selecting a guy named Luke Babbitt, a small forward from Nevada. That exhausts my knowledge of Luke Babbitt. There will be a time for me to study up on the Luke Babbitts of the world. Now is not that time. 

• Loyal commenter DRJ, writing at Red’s Army, makes an interesting case that you should not be concerned with how often the C’s are hacking the Cavs—especially early in games.

  • Johnny

    Man let’s hope Thibs stays. I don’t think anyone can match his arm-waiving and screaming. I can’t see how these other teams won’t take him though, especially after everything he has done for us these past seasons.

  • Perry

    Walton says the Celts completely disregarded the regular season.

    Predicts Celts over Fakers.

    Compares Rondo to DJ and Magic…

    http://cuttingedgeradio.net/downloads/radio/zone1/walton_wfan_byte1.mp3

    Hear his take on the true NBA, UCLA, his top 7 all time players, and his finest moment as a pro.

    http://www.wfan.com/topic/play_window.php?audioType=Episode&audioId=4634107

  • Conall Mac Michael

    Gonna miss tonight’s game. hopefully they’ll play lock down defense and solid offense with lots of ball movement and lots of whatever Rondo decides to do to the Cav’s points. As long as I don’t have to hear anything about King’s elbow ill be happy. Let’s get it done!!!!! Also the fact that Thibs is leaving (it looks pretty certain at this stage) greatly saddens me, i think it was Brian or Robb that said the rest of the staff better have been paying attention these last 3 years. I agree wholeheartedly.

  • Alex

    in boston tonight everyone sitting behind the backboard needs to be givin a white towel in recognition of our boy,Danny Ainge, and during every foul shot cleveland takes they should toss the towels in the air

  • Babbitt is Legit

    Oh man. I hope the C’s grab Babbitt. Kid is GOOD.

  • Cptn Bubbles

    If you have a teammate who is hurt you try to work around the injury. Lebron has been acting odd. I think the Cavs will try to run a lot of plays where Lebron just passes or acts as a decoy to try & keep his elbow as rested as possible (at least until the 4th quarter). The Cs should make him prove the elbow is not gimpy by making him carry the full load for 4 quarters. Don’t give him any ez outs with passes. Make him dribble & dribble & dribble & execute over & over & over. If Lebron gets 40+ points while the other guys stand & watch then that would be ideal. If Lebron is having to do it all because we lock down everyone else (no double team on Lebron) then he will be very tired in the 4th, & his elbow will also be overworked & painful. He will score but not enough.

  • Glenn

    @Cptn Bubbles

    That sounds like a plan to me, although part of me is still skeptical and thinks that this whole “elbow injury” is just trying to set up LeBron for a heroic performance in Game 3. But that’s just the cynic in me, I’m sure.

  • I love Green

    If Doc retires Thibs is our coach, if Doc stays then…Thibs is most likley gone. I think Avery Johnson will go to New Orleans to coach, and Doug Collins to the 76ers. Off the top of my head that leaves the Bulls, and Nets without head coaches. The Nets would be a horrible job, and I can maybe see him going to the Bulls. Im just hoping he stays, or becomes our head coach if Doc retires.

  • EEEEE

    Doc could step down allowing the C’s to keep Thibs. Celts gonna need a coach who can handle the transition and defense can always keep you in the games.

    For now lets get those white towels waiving like crazy tonight! Go C’s!

  • Jason

    Doug Collins and Avery Johnson (just two of many) ex-coaches, wanna-be coaches again, will fail. These two guys talk like sports writers, nothing AT ALL substantial, insightful or tactical, just platitudes. There’s more analysis on this site than comes out of their mouths. I would have zero interest in hiring either of them (should I be blessed with such a responsibility).

    Jeff Van Gundy is annoying, but as an analyst, he’s the only coach I’ve heard who points out things I didn’t already know. He sees and points out a back pick on the weak side AS IT’S HAPPENING while everyone (meaning spectators) is clueless watching the guy with the ball. He understands why a certain team has an advantage over another by going small and tactically what a coach is doing why he’s doing it.

    Most analysts will just say “See, they’re winning because they’re shooting a higher percentage.” Thanks genius. But JVG will tell you how and why the plays they ran actually got them those high percentage shots and that’s a huge difference. The biggest downside to JVG announced games is that Marc Jackson comes with the package. Really difficult to stomach his worthless blathering.

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