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Ten Things About the NBA: Hoiberg, MVP Race, LaVar Ball and More

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Phil is back with another can’t miss ten things about the NBA

NBA: Chicago Bulls at Boston Celtics Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

Another NBA week has come and gone. I’m still here with ten things about the NBA from this week I think you will enjoy.

Eastern Conference Playoff Teams

The last few weeks of the season will certainly prove to be interesting. Essentially the East has six teams vying for the final three spots. Kris Willis joins me to discuss this on this week’s NBA edition of the Phil Naessens Show.

The MVP Race Might Not Include Isaiah Thomas

It seems like James Harden, Russell Westbrook, LeBron James or Kawhi Leonard is the four names vying for this seasons Maurice Podoloff Award. That’s cool with me however something is wrong if Isaiah Thomas doesn’t receive a few votes also; have a look at this little nugget I found the other day.

And this other nugget I found about Kawhi Leonard and the season he is having also caught my eye.

Yes. I am a first time voter and taking it seriously.

Why I Love Shaquille O’Neil

We hear all about the bad things NBA players past and present do; the TMZ era is here and let’s face it scandal sells. Shaq did a nice thing this past week for an Atlanta family.

LaVar Ball is Something Else

LaVar Ball is a funny guy. The only reason we even know of his existence is because he sired an athletic son that happens to be good at basketball. Lonzo Ball will probably be one of the top three picks in the NBA Draft.

Thanks to Lonzo’s talent we will continue to hear crazy stuff from dad LaVar that is usually reserved for neighborhood watering holes. While folks are getting caught up in all of his crazy ideas I commend him for wanting to be in his children’s lives. We don’t see this very often these days and should be commended for this.

Hopefully his big mouth, crazy ideas and 15 minutes of fame doesn’t wind up getting his son into trouble. It will be interesting to see what happens when his son is drafted by a lousy team; will papa Ball criticize his son’s teammates publicly or will he be smart enough to keep his mouth shut and go back to his delusions about beating Michael Jordan one on one?

Only time will tell.

Internal Trouble for the Golden State Warriors?

At least according to this there is. I don’t place a whole lot of faith in unnamed sources however I do have an opinion as to why the team is currently struggling without Kevin Durant.

Kevin Durant ain’t playing that’s what’s wrong. See how easy that was?

The Warriors allowed veterans like Andrew Bogut, Marreese Speight’s and Leandro Barbosa just walk away. That’s some pretty serious veteran leadership not to mention the third best bench in the NBA that just walked out the door.

They also allowed Harrison Barnes to walk. He was their fourth leading scorer. He’s no Durant but then again who is?

You know what the Warriors remind me of? The married guy who, while having a mid-life crisis decides to leave his wife and family for his hot 20 something secretary. He’s having a blast hanging and banging but when the money ran out the hot number found a bigger better deal. Now he’s alone wondering how he could have been so foolish.

That’s the Warriors; they won 73 regular season games, came from being down 1-3 to Oklahoma City to reel off three straight wins to reach the NBA Finals. Then they had the NBA Finals in the palm of their hand and had the NBA Championship stolen from them by the NBA blew a 3-1 lead to lose what should have been their second consecutive NBA Championship.

It’s too soon to tell what the moral of this story will be but I suspect losing their veteran locker-room voices has more to do with their “internal” troubles than anything else.

Vinsanity Running Wild

I didn’t begin to learn what efficiency was until I reached 40 years of age; Memphis Grizzlies shooting guard Vince Carter was the epitome of efficiency on Tuesday night against the Milwaukee Bucks. Carter went 6-6 from beyond the arc, 2-2 from the field and 2-2 from the line. Have a look at something we don’t see very often….and something Carter may never do again.

Triple Doubles

Until the last couple of seasons recording a triple double was a big deal; it was such a rare occurrence that the main TV networks would usually lead with the story; the newspapers were the same way. Now it happens so frequently we almost expect it to the point that it’s no longer that big of a deal.

No matter the frequency it’s still a big deal to me…..check out this list!

LaVar Ball in Perspective

Okay. I couldn’t resist. LaVar Ball claims he would be able to beat Michael Jordan in a one on one. As outlandish as that claim is there is a reality; EVERY one of these fans has accomplished more on their own in basketball than Ball ever will.

How to get your Coach Fired NBA Style

SB Nation NBA writer Tom Ziller tells us this is the first season in 46 years that an NBA Head Coach hasn’t been fired during the season. Of all the coaches Ziller mentioned I think the one who is going to get the boot this off season is Chicago Bulls Head Coach Fred Hoiberg.

Losing Dwyane Wade for the season probably means this is going to be the second consecutive season the Bulls will be fishing in April.

From my view from the cheap seats that team quit on their coach a while ago. Rumors have persisted for months that stars Jimmy Butler, Dwayne Wade and Rajon Rondo ignored Hoiberg during timeouts and did whatever they pleased.

Jimmy Butler even blew off Hoiberg while the game was going on.

If us working stiffs ignore our boss and do what we want that usually means our immediate termination. In the NBA it means the coach is to blame and he gets fired.

In today’s NBA there is more to coaching than just X’s and O’s. In order for most NBA coaches to survive they must kiss their star player’s ass convince them to climb onboard the plan. If said star is onboard all is well; if not than coach is to blame and he gets fired. Not the General Manager who hired said coach but the coach.

Don’t ever wonder why the San Antonio Spurs have reached 20 consecutive playoffs and perennial contenders for the Title year in and year out. Coach Gregg Popovich runs the show there and it’s his way or the highway.

I wish more NBA teams were like that. Don’t you?

Nikola Jokic is for Real

Denver Nuggets power forward/center Nikola Jokic spent the early part of this season fighting for playing time. Now he’s found himself in some lofty company after his fourth triple double this season!

See you next week!