Beyond the Arc

Ben Fiore

For this week in wrap in the NBA, there was holy holly holiday horse shit.  It all revolved around mouths. Now don’t take that the wrong way… but seriously it’s true.  Throughout NBA history, we have seen and heard a lot of opinions, chants, firings, smack talk, and swings to the face.  I don’t think any will be as Cold Stone Steve Austin quality as the Pistons Pacers brawl where they beat the piss out of each other in 2004.  You can thank the post Donaghy refs for that change in culture since then. Anyway, let’s jump right into what’s happening this week.

First off, I need to talk about my favorite storyline from this week.  On December 3rd, former head coach of the Chicago Bulls, Fred Hoiberg, was fired.  I am not necessarily a Bulls fan anymore, but I blame that in part to Fred Hoiberg.  I personally loved Tom Thibedeau, and thought he had a good thing going with the team he assembled.  Since Hoiberg arrived, he posted a (115-155) record with Chicago. Over the last two years, they’ve been very and
I mean very bad.  Last year the Bulls went (27-55), and under Hoiberg in 2018 the team started out (5-19).  Hoiberg was an extremely forgettable player, and an even more forgettable coach. There seemed to be a lot of conflict and discomfort between him and his players.  Already, the Bulls won their first game without Hoiberg. Jim Boylen has taken over as interim coach, and is so far (1-0). I don’t think Boylen will stay the coach next season, but I would take Jackie Moon as a head coach over Fred Hoiberg.  In his tenure there, Hoiberg pretty much just turned the Chicago Bulls into some Chicago Bullshit. With the talent they have acquired such as Zach LeVine, Jabari Parker and Lauri Markkanen, this team could have a very bright future if they stay healthy and have a strong coach to right the ship.  I think because of that, the Bulls have a very good chance of landing a high value head coach this offseason.

Ever since he joined the Warriors, Kevin Durant seems to always be in the headlines.  Often for more negative things than positive as of late. This week as Golden State visited Atlanta, Hawks fans chanted “DRAYMOND HATES YOU” with Durant at the foul line.  As I’m sure all you hoops fans already know, KD and Draymond Green had some beef that got out to the media. Draymond ripped KD’s heart out by saying “we don’t need you!” along with much worse phrases.  He is right and wrong in that statement. The Warriors did achieve a (73-9) record (best in NBA history) without Durant the season before he joined the team. If you remember, Durant’s Thunder gave up a (3-1) lead to that same Warriors team in the playoffs.  See, but here is where Green is wrong. They still lost the finals that year. The last two years, the Warriors have won back to back titles with KD as finals MVP. Every team in the NBA needs Kevin Durant, Draymond. Even if he is a cupcake. Kevin Durant has become more outspoken since moving to Cali as well.  Not just with his own team, but other players. KD is seen as the second best player on the planet by most, behind who? LeBron James. Durant was quoted on how he said a lot of players do not want to play with LeBron because it brings everyone else too much negative attention. Come on now KD, you two on the same team would be a meeting of the basketball Gods.  Either Durant is jealous, or he’s trying to downplay a potential union of the two superstars since Durant is a free agent this offseason. (Insert eyes emoji).

Pat Beverly must have went and saw Creed II at the movies this week because dude is straight BRAWLING.  I think Bev just reeeeeeally doesn’t like Texas since he left Houston. He was responsible for two incidents in the Clippers and Mavs game this week.  For starters, this man knocked out one of Dennis Smith Jr.’s teeth. There was a 50/50 play on the ground for a loose ball. Both Beverly and Smith Jr. went after it.  We all know the kind of player Pat is, so I was suspicious if the hit was on purpose or not. They were seemingly wrestling for the ball and Bev’s elbow smacked Smith Jr. in the mouth and boom, a present for the tooth fairy fell out.  Pat then proceeded to grab Denny’s neck and turn his head in shock of his own “knockout” blow. Patrick Beverly has a legacy of being a tough and some would say dirty player. And Pat is living up (or down) to that hype still. Later in the game, Bev showed he can dish it, but not take it very well.  Apparently Beverly was getting heckled by a fan courtside that just really bugged the man. Pat then whipped the ball at the fan to really teach them a lesson. You guessed it, he got fined. Dear Pat Beverly, you are a veteran man. Been in this league too long to make stupid mistakes like that. Stay tough, not stupid.  The Clips need all the help they can get, and they won’t get any when you’re eventually suspended.

There were some awesome matchups this week.  My favorite was last night’s game between the Jazz and Rockets.  The Jazz are indeed smooth. They cruised to a 118-91 victory over the Rockets, even with star center Rudy Gobert getting ejected after two quick fouls.  Gobert was called for an over the back on the tip off. Moments later, Gobert fell victim to James Harden flopping in the post, and got ejected. Jokes on James though.  Donovan Mitchel am=nd hot cup of Joe Ingles flamed them with an easy win. On that note, Houston needs to get it together, seeing as that they have a losing record right now sitting at (11-13) and are supposed to be a contender this year.

On a final note for this week, we at Thoughts From The Bench want to give a birthday shout out to the greatest white basketball player in the history of sports, THE “Larry Legend”, Larry Bird.  The albino goat turns 62 years old today. We will never forget how you helped evolve the game, and that sweet jump shot. Cheers Larry.

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Written by benfiore

NBA writer of Beyond the Arc. Employee, podcast host and writer for Thoughts From the Bench.

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