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01-15-2004, 12:57 PM
Sorry for the late post--wasn't on yesterday...

Chaney refuses to step down

It is Wednesday, Jan. 14, 2004, and Allan Houston hasn't had a steal or block or offensive rebound in a week, Stephon Marbury has piled 26 turnovers together in the month and there are still only two players on the Knick roster over 7-feet tall.

As far as they know, Don Chaney is still the head coach.

"It's a lot of pressure, the doubt part of it, waiting. But I'm not a quitter. I've never quit anything in my entire life," he said in the New York Post. "I'm going to hang in there. I don't care what the obstacles are, how tough. I've never quit on anything and I won't quit on this either. If it's inevitable, and [the players] see the writing on the wall, I expect them to still play. I don't want them playing for me, I want them playing for themselves. Have your own self-pride, win for the team. If I'm not here to coach it, somebody else will. But I want these guys to be men and compete."

ChaneyChaney has compiled a record of 15-24 this season, 72-111 in his tenure with the Knicks and 337-493 in his career as a coach in the NBA.
And he still can't get over the "Fire Chaney" chants of the hometown crowd, any hometown crowd, that only get louder and louder as he looks at his bench and sees seven faces that weren't even there last year not counting a new boss to boot.

"It was like a dagger. It hurt. I'm human. You take it home. But I try not to subject my wife to this kind of stuff. It's hard," Chaney said in the New York Post. "You can [only] cover or mask to a degree. That's the worst part, because you're involving other people. She's been around. She hurts like I hurt. It's hard for her. She's not used to hearing that."

New point guard Marbury remembers when he first got traded to the New Jersey Nets and shortly thereafter they fired then head coach John Calipari. He was playing for Phoenix when the Suns fired Frank Johnson this season. Tonight the Knicks play a team, Toronto, that has fired its head coach this season. On Saturday they play another team that fired its coach this season. Next week, they play against two teams that have had coaches resign within the year.

The New York Daily News is already reporting that Knicks GM Isiah Thomas has selected Mike Fratello to become the new head coach of the team before the old has been fired.

There are signs everywhere for Chaney.

"It'd be easier on Don and the players if we knew," Houston said. "That's human nature. Everybody can do their job better if people are confident in you, believe in you, and you're at peace about the situation. It'd be much easier . . . if that were the case. If I'm a coach and you've got people looking over your shoulder, you can't be as comfortable doing your job as if that weren't the case. You're going to start thinking about 'are you producing?' I don't think it affects us as much [as Don]."

Monday night on The Late Show, David Letterman asked Thomas about those chants from the hometown crowd.

"You definitely don't like to see anyone humiliated in such a public forum such as this right now," Thomas is quoted as saying in the Post. "It's a tough time for him as a man. Don is a very good man. I've known him for a very long time. Unfortunately, when we're losing, people will speculate about us. There's going to be rumors. Until we start winning, we have to play through this and overcome this."

Letterman then smiled and said: "So he's done, is what you're saying."

Letterman laughed. Thomas laughed. The audience laughed.

For all we know, Chaney was at home trying to figure out how to stop Tracy McGrady who, by the way, watched his coach get fired this season, too.

Kidd makes up for Martin's weakness

We have centers who shoot 3s and power forwards who dribble.

So in this often upside down world of the NBA where the 11-26 Cavaliers are leading the league in rebounding while the first-place Sacramento Kings place 20th in that category, we decided to find out who were the most important rebounding guards playing today.

We didn't just add up their numbers and proclaim a winner. Instead, we took the combined totals from each team's starting point guard and shooting guard and then found out how that figured into their team's overall rebounding stats and came out with a percentage.

Then we ranked them.

And it came as no surprise in this season of surprises that the game's pre-eminent point guard also happens to be the position's best rebounder while the team cycling through three point guards at a time happens to have the worst rebounding backcourt in the game even though it has the second-best record in the league.

Best Rebounding Guards
1. Jason Kidd and Kerry Kittles, New Jersey Nets
Stats: 25.1% (9.9 of 39.3)
While Kenyon Martin is thumping thump his chest whenever he grabs an offensive board, about 1.9 times a game, Jason Kidd is a bit busier leading the break and setting up the offense while leading the Nets in scoring, assists and 3-pointers made. Oh, yeah, he also grabs 1.4 offensive rebounds a game, too. So while Kidd is leading the league in triple-doubles, Martin isn't busy enough as the Nets become the second-worst rebounding team in the league.

2. Gilbert Arenas and Larry Hughes, Washington Wizards
Stats: 23.3% (10.1 of 43.3)
If Arenas and Hughes are going to score 42 percent of the Wizards points, hand out 38 percent of their assists and make 51 percent of their 3-pointers, then they might as well grab some 23 plus percent of their rebounds while they're at it. But, then, this isn't anything new for these two. Hughes once averaged 5.9 rebounds a game and Arenas averaged 4.7 last year so their 5.1 and 5.0, respectively, shouldn't surprise anyone. What should surprise you is that no one else on the team is averaging more than 7.2 per game.

3. Steve Francis and Cuttino Mobley, Houston Rockets
Stats: 23.2% (10.1 of 43.5)
You should be concerned that Steve Francis is averaging only 17 points, 5.7 rebounds and 5.7 assists per game this season after averaging 21 points, 6.2 rebounds and 6.2 assists per game last season. But that doesn't mean you still shouldn't be impressed that a 6-foot-3 point guard is averaging 17 points, 5.7 rebounds and 5.7 assists per game. But the fact is, Francis averaged seven rebounds a game two years ago after averaging 6.9 the season before. Let me say this again. In 2001, his second season in the NBA, Francis averaged 2.4 offensive rebounds per game. A year later, he averaged 5.2 defensive rebounds per game. Of course, having a 7-foot-6 center arrive in 2002 might have something to do with that, too. But then how does that explain Cuttino Mobley going from 4.2 rebounds per game last year to 4.4 this year?

4. Ray Allen and Brent Barry, Seattle SuperSonics
Stats: 21.3% (8.3 of 39.3)
Forget the accolades for the Sonic guards being average rebounders. This is more an indictment of the Sonic forwards and centers being the worst rebounding team in the NBA. If Ray Allen can grab 4.9 rebounds per game from the shooting guard position then why can't Calvin Booth grab more than 4.8 rebounds per game from the center position? And if Barry can grab 3.4 rebounds per game as the point guard, then how come Jerome James can't grab more than three a game as the other center? But what did you really expect from a team that has 322 made triples but only 394 offensive rebounds.

5. Jason Richardson and Nick Van Exel, Golden State Warriors
Stats: 21.1% (9.2 of 43.5)
There is only one guard listed among the NBA's Top 50 rebounders and you're looking at him. Jason Richardson went from averaging 4.3 rebounds per game as a rookie to 4.6 last year to a current 6.5 with five games of double-digit boardwork already under his belt. And here's a little more incentive. In those five games, Richardson averaged 23.2 points while on the season as a whole, he's averaged 18.6. And on top of those games, he had a game against the Mavs in which he grabbed five offensive boards and a game against the Timberwolves in which he grabbed four offensive boards and totaled a combined 57 points.

Worst Rebounding Guards
29. Reggie Miller and Kenny Anderson, Indiana Pacers
Stats: 11.5% (4.9 of 42.6)
Does it really matter if 38-year-old Reggie Miller is paired up with Kenny Anderson, Anthony Johnson or Jamaal Tinsley? Miller never has been and never will be a good rebounder. The 6-foot-7 stance is nice. The 195 pounds is an exaggeration. And the 16-plus seasons have taken their toll. In 1,281 games averaging 34.6 minutes per contest, he has never grabbed more than 12 boards in a single one of them and averaged only 3.1 over his NBA lifetime. But it's been 923 3-point attempts since he's averaged that many a game over an entire year. Oh, and his next offensive board will be his 12th of this season in 38 games.

28. Mike Miller and Jason Williams, Memphis Grizzlies
Stats: 11.6% (4.9 of 42.2)
In the month of November, Jason Williams played 14 games and grabbed a grand total of 16 rebounds. In December, he grabbed another 16. Add in October and he had 33 rebounds. For the season, Williams is averaging 1.5 per game or one rebound every 19 minutes. At that rate, if he played every minute of every game, he'd have only 205 boards on the season. So far, he's got only 43. To put that in perspective, 5-foot-5 backup point guard Earl Boykins has 157. Forget the 1,459 3-pointers he's bricked over his 377-game career or the 3.6 turnovers per game he averaged in 2000. This has to be the sickest stat of this enigmatic player's life.

27. Allan Houston and Stephon Marbury, New York Knicks
Stats: 14.1% (6 of 42.5)
In 1996, Allan Houston averaged 3.7 rebounds per game. We had no idea he was peaking. Since then, he's never averaged more than 3.6, and this year is averaging 2.5. This is terrible for a guard who also refuses to pass the ball (2.2 assist per game) or play any form of defense (0.8 steals per game and 0.06 blocks per game). He is possibly the most spoiled 6-foot-6 starting shooting guard in the history of the NBA, having taken 11,580 shots in his career while not earning a single one of them by the sweat of his brow. Marbury, meanwhile, is already at 3.5 boards a game for the Knicks while having a higher career scoring average and ranking second overall in the league in assists per game.

26. Jamal Crawford and Kirk Hinrich, Chicago Bulls
Stats: 14.1% (6.2 of 43.7)
Jamal Crawford has played a total of 199 NBA games at two different positions under three different coaches. Kirk Hinrich will play his 33rd game tonight. Combined, they've actively participated in fewer game minutes than Scott Skiles has coached and are listed at a buck-ninety each on the scale. Let's just see what happens in the future.

25. Carlos Arroyo and DeShawn Stevenson, Utah Jazz
Stats: 14.2% (5.9 of 41.4)
Carlos Arroyo has missed 10 games due to injury while trying to replace a demigod. DeShawn Stevenson has missed more time than that while on the floor trying to figure out who he's supposed to be guarding much less who he's supposed to be boxing out on rebounds. On average, there are 77.4 rebounds to be had in every Jazz game and you're telling me that a 22-year-old, 6-foot-5, 210-pound athletic specimen can't grab more than 3.3 a game when his centers are sporting names like Greg Ostertag, Curtis Borchardt and Ben Handlogten?

Peep Show

Minnesota Timberwolves: There are sprained ankles and then there are sprained ankles. And then there is Troy Hudson's sprained ankle. "I've never seen an ankle like that," Wolves assistant coach Sidney Lowe said in the Star Tribune. "Most people twist it on one side. His was bruised and swollen on both sides. It's unfair to say he's been out this long with 'just a sprain.' It's not that simple." So far, it's kept him of the floor for nearly three months and three dozen games. "That's probably going to be there all year," Troy said as he looked at his blackened foot. "Even after the pain goes. Over the course of a workout, it tends to go down, but then it swells back up."

New Orleans Hornets: The Hornets may have lost two games in a row but not the confidence of their coach. "You might say we've had our confidence shaken somewhat," Tim Floyd said in the Times-Picayune. "Our job is to heal it, mainly by doing a better job on the defensive end, also by doing a better job of getting the ball inside, with the pass, with dribble penetration. Am I confident? Yes. Why? Because of the character our guys have shown with their attitude, with their approach. I feel we were successful in establishing a kind of identity, sharing the basketball and playing tough on the defensive end. Now the challenge is to sustain it the rest of the way." And he can't wait until Jamal Mashburn returns, which may be at the end of this month. "All I can tell you about Mash," Floyd said, "is I've never seen anyone, with my own eyes, work any harder than he did during the offseason. While Baron was getting himself in great shape out in California, Mash was here working every day. I'm sure that's what made his injury after only a few practices so tough on him."

Los Angeles Lakers: And then there was one Hall of Famer . . . "I've just got to go out there and try to get everybody involved, sort of the way I've been playing and just try to help all the other guys out on the floor," Gary Payton said in the L.A. Times after injuries to Shaquille O'Neal, Karl Malone and Kobe Bryant. "I think all I've got to do is be myself, just come out there and play, help guys out, help them along in the game. Don't be on people. We've got to pat and encourage people. So if we encourage a lot of these guys and get them to playing the way they should play, we should be fine." And he could care less if that means shooting 5-for-22 again like he did against the Cavs as long as the Lakers win. "That is nothing," he said. "We've got to win. I don't care about me being successful. I've been successful all my career. I don't need to be successful. I want & us to win basketball games. So it was nothing. It was an off night. I don't care about that, as long as we got the win&. We're fine. I'm fine."

Memphis Grizzlies: Hube Brown just became the winingest coach in Grizzlies history with 47 victories but isn't quite sure how long he'll be around to celebrate. "I really go from game to game. I told Jerry (West, team president) I'll try to go from one season to the next season," Brown said in the Commercial Appeal. "Yeah, we signed a contract. It's a great contract and very generous. But, on my side, I want the availability at the end of each season to say whether or not I can physically be able to do it. That's the deal we have. We did that last year. It's that point blank."

Washington Wizards: Christian Laettner has been suspended by the NBA for five games for violating the league's drug policy and he says he's sorry in a statement released by the team. "I deeply regret any embarrassment that my actions have caused to members of my family, my teammates, my fans and the Washington Wizards organization," Laettner said in the Washington Times. "I accept full responsibility for my actions. I have elected to seek professional assistance to fully educate myself as to the consequences of my behavior to assure that these issues never interfere again with my career and my obligations to my team, my teammates and our fans." The Wizards mirrored the sentiment. "This comes as a surprise to us, as the league's substance abuse policy is confidential," said president Ernie Grunfeld. "I have spoken to Christian, and he is embarrassed."

Denver Nuggets: Sir Charles never played for the Denver Nuggets but he sure is cheering for them now. "I like Carmelo," said Barkley in the Rocky Mountain News when comparing the rookie to LeBron James. "The numbers are similar, but due to the politics of the NBA I don't know if he can win. The NBA has a lot invested in (James). But (the Nuggets) have won more games than all of last year. It'd be one of the greatest turnarounds in NBA history." And he went on about Melo's boss. "I told (Kiki Vandeweghe) that as far as managing the salary cap and drafting players who have made an impact, he's done one of the best jobs in the last two or three years of the NBA."

01-15-2004, 09:35 PM
Sorry for the late post--wasn't on yesterday...

Again, thanks for posting these thebac! Your diligent and benevolent showering of ESPN Insider Mana on Dallas-Mavs.com is a great, great thing.