Much like you can tell it’s autumn because leaves are falling off the trees, you can tell when it’s getting close to the home stretch in the NBA.
The good teams are coming together, becoming more tight-knit. Any hint of controversy of strife never finds its way into the press.
Then there are the bad teams.
After the Los Angeles Lakers lost at Indiana Tuesday night, Pau Gasol criticized the team’s effort and strategy, particularly with coach Mike D’Antoni’s love affair with small-ball lineups.
Hey, I get it—when you’re a big guy, small-ball lineups are assaults on your livelihood.
D’Antoni, shockingly enough, didn’t take it very well, because he has such a long and storied track record of taking criticism from players about his strategic choices with a smile and a shrug.
“The thing I just don’t appreciate—and I think every coach, and it should be everybody—you just keep it in house,” D’Antoni told The Associated Press before Wednesday night’s game at Memphis. “It’s very easy to come over and talk about your frustrations. We’ll try to work something out and figure it out for now. But to go (to the media) and to do it in the paper is disturbing. I just don’t think that’s the way to go.”
Bad teams are busy buying guys out. Good teams are picking up the guys the bad teams are buying out.
And so it goes. Think of it as the cycle of NBA life and the difference between the teams coming together for a playoff push and the teams coming apart while guys fight through losses and look to boost numbers for a contract push.
And with that, on to the NBA Power Rankings for this week (all statistical information via nba.com/Stats):